Jersey's new-hospital plans to be scrapped and replaced with 'hybrid' model

Overdale Hospital. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (34578747)

JERSEY’S long-running future-hospital saga took a new twist today after the government officially announced it was abandoning plans for a single-site facility at Overdale.

It is now pursuing a hybrid General Hospital spread across the existing Gloucester Street site, adjacent land at Kensington Place, and Overdale.

Announcing the outcome of a review into the Our Hospital project, Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet said the proposal to abandon plans for a single-site Hospital at Overdale was based on the new hybrid scheme being more appropriate and affordable.

Deputy Tom Binet (34578754)

The publication of the review is the latest chapter in a long-running saga which has already lasted more than a decade, with an estimated £120 million spent so far.

Although no headline figure has been provided for the total cost of the new proposal, Deputy Binet estimated that the smaller scale could achieve a potential saving of around £50m from the previous scheme – which had been costed at £804m.

A phased approach to construction has been outlined; Deputy Binet said that subject to funding, planning permission and ‘favourable tendering conditions’, work at Overdale could begin by November 2024 and be completed within three years.

The Kensington Place phase of work would start by November 2025, and be completed by November 2028, the review added, with the final phase then beginning at Gloucester Street and being complete by the end of 2030 – four years after the stated completion date for the single-site Overdale project.

Work to build flats at Kensington Place was halted earlier this year when the government launched its review Picture: ROB CURRIE. (34578751)

Deputy Binet said that moves to establish a mental health facility would proceed separately, and that he hoped work to construct this facility could commence within three years and be complete by the end of 2027.

The review acknowledges that the longer time span for the project would necessitate additional investment in maintaining the existing General Hospital, which has long been recognised as inadequate.

Over the next ‘three to six months’ – a period running until the end of April – Deputy Binet outlined a series of next steps. These include further consultation with stakeholders, the establishment of a political oversight group, feasibility studies, the identification of a funding model and a proposition to the States Assembly for the new hybrid model.

The government’s next steps

1. Further consultation with stakeholders, especially healthcare staff on the services that should be provided in any hybrid or phased solution

2. Ensure sufficient funding to minimise clinical and operational risk at JGH

3. Commission review of requirements for mental health facilities to be commenced immediately

4. Ensure an appropriately sized political oversight group is in place that meets regularly and can make effective, timely decisions, in line with the Comptroller and Auditor General’s 2017 report on Decision Making: Selecting a Site for the Future Hospital4

5. A mandate is prepared, providing an initial project plan, including potential resourcing and timelines.

6. Feasibility studies to convert current designs and proposals into initial proof of concept designs and costings

7. Report and Proposition in the States Assembly for phased or hybrid solution at Overdale and Gloucester Street

8. Development of business case

9. Identify and secure funding of project through States Assembly and Government Plan processes.

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