Hospital stalemate could be costing £100K per day

DELAYS to the new hospital could cost the Island more than £100,000 per day should the stalemate between St Helier and the project team remain unresolved, according to government figures.

The existing Overdale Hospital. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30388235)
The existing Overdale Hospital. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30388235)

It has estimated that delays to the construction schedule – due to begin in March next year – could incur costs of around £3.4 million per month.

This includes an extra £900,000 per month for each additional month the contract with design-and-delivery partner ROK and Spanish firm FCC is extended. It also covers an estimated additional £1.2 million per month to retain the project team for each month beyond March 2022.

There are also anticipated to be substantial inflation costs incurred of around £1.9 million on the £482-million build each month, based on an inflation rate of between 2% and 4.75%.

Last month, a St Helier Parish Assembly voted on a requête – an ancient legal device to call an assembly – which temporarily blocked the sale of parish land and prohibits any construction work in relation to Westmount Road, which is the approved access route for the new hospital at Overdale, until further details were provided.

The parish and the project team are at loggerheads after St Helier officials ordered the project team to stop work they were carrying out on parish land, including measuring and marking out areas with chalk paint, because it contravened the decision that no invasive work should take place until the parish had been given plans for the Westmount access road.

However, delivery partner RoKFCC cannot draft the plans until they have done this work.

Senator Lyndon Farnham at Overdale Hospital. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30388232)

Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham, who chairs the political oversight group for the new hospital at Overdale, has written to St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft, expressing his frustration and stating that the team needs to be able to carry out some exploratory work in order to meet the requirements of the parish assembly for more detailed proposals. Senator Farnham said: ‘The current parish position to refuse access to the land for the non-invasive purpose of information gathering effectively means the team is unable to meet the will of the parish assembly as without the information, plans cannot be drawn up and details cannot be provided.’

Unless the impasse can be resolved, the project may face delays – and therefore incur additional costs.

According to government calculations, some additional costs could be mitigated assuming some elements of the project team could be stood down but that ‘adding the estimates together gives a rounded £3.4m and averages out at a little over £100k per day’.

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