Abandoned Our Hospital project tops government spending list

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THE government spent £12.3 million last year on the now-shelved Our Hospital project – more than it did paying locum doctors and nurses, or funding Family Nursing and Home Care.

RokFCC JV – a joint venture between local contractor Rok and Spanish firm FCC Construcción – topped a government list revealing money paid to 100 suppliers in 2022, after receiving the multi-million-pound sum as design and delivery partner for the project to build a single-site hospital at Overdale.

This was on top of £19.8m the joint venture received the year before, bringing the total spend to £32.1m.

The Our Hospital project received planning approval last May, before the general election and the new Council of Ministers’ change of direction, with the contract to build the hospital never signed.

Second on the top-100 list for last year was Family Nursing and Home Care, which receives a States grant to provide community nursing and home care services. This was £9.5m in 2022, up from £8.9m the year before.

The third biggest supplier in 2022 was Holt Doctors, a large UK recruitment agency for medical staff, which was paid £9.4m for its services.

Deputy Rob Ward, a member of the Future Hospital Review Panel, has called for transparency around the cost of the government’s new multi-site approach.

He said he hoped that some of the funds spent on the previous project would still ultimately help with the construction of any new facilities at Overdale.

‘What we as a panel are trying to do is ensure that we are certain of cost – certainly with any proposition you would need to know that. The key thing is for there to be transparency with [the new] project, around the timescale and funding – partly because we were told it would cost less.’

Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet told a recent Scrutiny panel hearing he would include what he described as ‘an advisory’ within the Government Plan – set to be debated in December – to inform States Members of the likely total cost of the new acute hospital at Overdale.

The Our Hospital project was scrapped due to concerns over its £800m cost, but the new government has so far remained tight-lipped about the price of its replacement.

The Treasury must produce the top-100 list on an annual basis after Deputy Kirsten Morel lodged a successful proposition in May 2020.

Fourth on the list was professional-services firm Deloitte, which received £8.2m for IT and change services. A Deloitte-owned business called Keytree was the ‘main delivery partner’ for the government’s Integrated Technology Solution programme, its largest ever IT project.

Another Rok-related company, Rok Construct (2017) Ltd appeared fifth on the list for 2022. This company converted the former Les Quennevais School into the recently opened Enid Quénault Health and Wellbeing Centre. The firm was paid £7.8m in 2022.

The list also reveals that the government paid now-collapsed contractor Camerons £2.7m in 2022. This is on top of the £6m it paid the firm in 2021.

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