I WAS pleased to read (JEP letters 19 July) that Jean Lelliott felt that she could agree with all the things that my new political party would change when we get a majority of members of the Common Sense Party elected to the States, except our plans for scrapping the proposal to build our new hospital at Overdale and locating it on the present site at Gloucester Street.
She raises, quite legitimately, the fact that there was a public inquiry headed by an outside planning inspector who turned down the plans to build it in Gloucester Street. However, his reason for that decision was because the whole project was too big and overbearing on the rest of the neighbourhood.
What should then have happened is that those planning the project should have used their common sense and looked at what they could remove from the plan to make it smaller. Could they not build a small modern eye clinic at Overdale? Why not a new modern maternity hospital at Overdale? (Remember when we had one of those in St Saviour’s Road.) An operation recovery ward up there? And what else could we thin out of the ‘must-have-it-all-under-one-roof’ that would work perfectly well as separate and self-contained entities?
Instead, their solution was to find a completely new site.
She acknowledges that the system used that chose Overdale was flawed – and everyone knows it. Even when the nonsensical citizens’ panel chose Overdale, they were not informed that it would mean the destruction of the bowling club, ripping away a section of the park and some trees and creating a highly-expensive superhighway. These are all good reasons for voting against Overdale.
I also understand the concern that converting and refurbishing the existing Hospital will cause so much noise, dust and general upheaval that all of this will seriously affect those in the Hospital and those working there. On its face, this is again a legitimate concern. However, I would point out that there are hundreds of hospitals in the UK built in the 1950s and 60s that are being rebuilt, refurbished, refurnished and renovated while still operating a full hospital service.
Over the years, many UK firms have developed and refined skills in specialist hospital project management to ensure the success of such an operation.