Revised plans for future hospital published today

JERSEY is ‘on the brink’ of creating a hospital of which the Island can be proud, Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham has said.

The height of the main hospital building has been reduced
The height of the main hospital building has been reduced

Updated designs have been published today, with the project team making a series of changes to their proposals in the wake of a consultation this summer.

Since previous designs were shared at the end of May, the height of the main hospital building has been lowered, with the curved roof being replaced, and a greater emphasis on landscaping.

New illustrations have also been issued showing details of the proposed access route to the hospital.

Lead architect Steve Featherstone, director of Llewelyn Davies Architects, said: ‘We have been able to modify the design for the new hospital, which reduces its impact on the skyline without compromising on the services it will provide.’

Senator Farnham, who has political responsibility for the project, said Islanders could now see the building and the proposed changes to Westmount Road and begin to appreciate how all hospital users would benefit from the improved and safer access.

Senator Farnham said: ‘Clinicians, stakeholders and Islanders have helped our design and delivery partner to finesse a hospital design which will serve Jersey for generations to come.

‘We have received extensive feedback and constructive comment, which we have listened to, and it means we are now on the brink of creating a hospital of which our Island community can be extremely proud.’

The project team intends to submit a planning application by 15 November, and Senator Farnham said he hoped to have completed the planning process and received permission for the scheme by April or May next year. This would enable the government to sign the final contract ahead of the general election next June.

Health Minister Richard Renouf said he hoped the design changes would pave the way for the project to move forward.

He said: ‘The new designs look a lot better and mean the building is not so prominent.

‘I’m satisfied that the changes have been made without any adverse clinical impact on the scheme, and more importantly I understand that the medical staff are satisfied with what is now proposed.’

Deputy Renouf said it was important to ‘keep our foot on the accelerator’.

‘My biggest concern is if we can’t get the hospital built for the future care of Islanders I can’t see us getting another go and it will become impossible to patch up the existing site – we’d have to spend tens of millions of pounds just to keep it going and would find it increasingly difficult to recruit staff.

‘I really hope we can overcome the noise being made by a few hundred people. There isn’t a perfect site or a perfect solution, but Overdale will work, and we have to get on with it.’

Earlier this week Chief Minister John Le Fondré said it was necessary for politicians to take difficult decisions regarding important issues for the Island, citing the introduction of social security in the 1950s and the development of Queen’s Valley Reservoir in the 1980s as examples of this.

‘Sometimes you have got to take those decisions that are for the future generations and it is not about short-term popular politics,’ he said.

Funding for the £800 million project has also yet to be finalised. A States Assembly debate is scheduled for early October, with the government intending to borrow the vast majority of the required funding.

However, a Scrutiny panel amendment could see the total budget for the project cut to £550 million. The Future Hospital Review Panel has also said that government plans to borrow more than £750 million for the project were too much and have also called for the loan to be capped at £400 million.

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