Jersey Hospital delays could cost taxpayers £100k a week

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Plans to build a new hospital in Jersey could cost taxpayers as much as £100,000 per week if the current timetable is delayed.

The States of Jersey expects to be able to announce the preferred site for the new hospital in September 2020, with planning applications submitted to the Environment Minister in March 2021.

£845,000 has been allocated to fund the project until the end of this year but the States expects that it will cost £7.4 million to complete the ‘first phase’ of the project, which involves preparing a business case and drawing up the outline planning application.

Ministers are also waiting for the approval of the Jersey Care Model, which will inform what kind of hospital the island needs.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, who chairs the Our Hospital Political Oversight Group, says it is vital that the project has transparency.

I hope we can avoid the mistrust that dogged the previous project by working proactively with Scrutiny and States Members throughout the process, and by ensuring that Members remain informed and involved, before any Proposition is brought forward for debate.

It is important to keep the project on track as any delays will cost money: the project estimates that each week’s delay during these preparatory stages will mean £100,000 in additional costs.

I hope that as much scrutiny as possible can be carried out in parallel with the project, rather than in sequence. This will provide Scrutiny with the opportunity to give views that the project can take on board as it develops.” The project team will ensure it engages proactively with Scrutiny, keeps islanders informed and provides regular updates to the States Assembly.

– Senator Lyndon Farnham, Chair of the Our Hospital Political Oversight Group

A new ‘citizens panel’ of between 12 and 24 people will be introduced, to get the views of people as Islanders, service users and members of the community.

The feedback from this will help inform the decision of the future site of the hospital, though members of the panel will not be asked about specific locations.

The Oversight Group are specifically looking for people who have ‘no preconceived bias’ to avoid the panel being a ‘forum for campaigners to press their views.’

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