We’re adding up to 50 new beds – that’s a fifth more than we currently have. We’ve carefully modelled the future demand for beds against the changing needs of our island population as it gets older.
St Saviour’s hospital was considered in 2012. It was not shortlisted for a number of reasons:
- The site, as it stands, would not cope with the demands of a general hospital. We would need huge investment in electricity and water supply, roads and drainage.
- The junction at Five Oaks would need to be analysed to see if it could cope with the extra traffic – up to 200,000 vehicle movements per year. Upgrades may be required.
- Hospital staff are concerned about the safety of patients in an emergency as it would take an extra nine minutes in a ‘blue light’ ambulance to get there from the centre of St Helier. For people having a heart attack or a stroke every minute counts.
- Most islanders live and work in and around St Helier, so most emergencies happen there.
- 30% of people who use the current Hospital (patients, visitors and staff) walk there. We would need to find transport for them. A shuttle bus might help, but many people would choose to drive. We would need to provide a 500 space car park which would be largely unused at weekends.
- The building and grounds are listed so the area available to build on is much smaller that it seems. Queen’s Farm next door is also listed.
The Planning Inspector said that one of the reasons the previous planning application was rejected was because of its impact on the skyline. Overdale and Warwick Farm would present the same problem. Any building on those sites would have a far greater impact than it would in a town centre.
Warwick Farm is in the Green Zone and development is severely restricted. A third of hospital users walk there, so many people would need public transport or would make extra car journeys. A large car park would be needed and we would also need to spend a lot of money on upgrading the roads, sewers, electrical, and water supplies.
The design work done during the last 12 months has shown that the visual impact of building an entire hospital at Overdale would be enormous.
Sites in less built-up areas would breach more planning policies and guidelines than the current hospital location.
A lower building in less built-up areas would have a bigger impact than it would in town. The lower and more spread-out the hospital design, the less efficient it would be for the day to day running.
The Project Team is working with Planning to ensure that the proposed building will be in keeping with the architecture of St Helier.
The Waterfront was considered in April 2015. Building the hospital there would have a negative impact on the rest of the Waterfront developments, which are intended to generate income for the island. It would also breach the Island Plan.
The Planning Inspector said that the scale of the building required would not be acceptable because of the impact on its surroundings.
The Minister for the Environment set the Terms of Reference and decided the inspector should focus on the site that had been debated and agreed by the States Assembly.
There is a detailed explanation of the site selection process here.
The idea that building on an alternative location would be cheaper comes from the April 2015 proposal, which involved complex phasing and cost £630m. The current proposal, at £466m, is around £160m less than the former scheme.
The eight-year project incorporates time for the approvals, planning and design work that come before building can start. The hospital will take about five years to build.
Any building project requires the same planning and design process before construction can begin. This work would still be needed before an alternative site could become available.
The full cost of the building includes inflation, risk and unpredictable events, as well as building costs.
There are often historical and cultural reasons for the location of hospitals in relation to the population. Our ambition is to build a new hospital in the best location for the Island and its residents.
Building a hospital in St Helier has more pros than an out of town site:
- People live and work in and around town.
- Most calls for an ambulance come from the town area
- The road network and bus routes converge on St Helier.
- Approximately 30% of staff and patients walk to hospital.
- There is an existing car park.
- The required utilities – electricity, water, gas – already exist.
Sites which are so close together can operate efficiently in ways that sites more distant cannot. No other site in States of Jersey ownership could provide a better solution.
Building in Jersey is more expensive than building in the UK. We have carried out detailed cost assessments, overseen by experts who have costed many new hospitals before.
There are three questions that must be considered before comparing the costs with other hospitals:
What? – type of hospital are they building?
- Does it provide the same services we have in Jersey? The Island wishes to maintain the full range of services of a general hospital. Many mainland hospitals do not have such a mix of services.
Where? – are they building it?
- Building on an island is generally more expensive than building on the mainland.
When? – were they building it?
- The cost of our new hospital takes into account estimated inflation costs for the next six years. A comparable hospital that has already opened will have been built at the lower prices that applied at the time.
As the Health Minister explained at the time, Peoples Park was a strong site, for technical reasons, when compared on a ‘like for like’ basis with other options. However, in February 2016 there wasn’t enough political support to move on to a formal public consultation that was planned.
This option means that a new hospital will use assets on land surrounding the Existing Hospital in addition to the area currently used by the General Hospital. Some of these assets are already owned by the States of Jersey. There will also be some limited acquisition of property adjacent to the General Hospital. The staff and services will then migrate over therefore enabling the Existing Site to be utilised in a different way on a much smaller building footprint. The original plan involved moving different services about within the Existing Site while it was developed, which would have been expensive, lengthy and disruptive.
The Treasury and Resources Department have obtained provisional funding considerations and options advice. This advice considers how the future hospital might be paid for using existing reserves, internal or external financing options.
Further work will be undertaken to consider proposals for potential funding of the future hospital which would be submitted in conjunction with the Report and Proposition for the preferred site and feasibility study for States Assembly consideration.
Future amendments to the MTFP and appropriate legislation as necessary will be brought forward for approval to facilitate the funding for a new hospital.
The design work has already begun to prepare for the build. We would hopefully anticipate ‘breaking ground’ in early 2019.
We have spent money undertaking a robust assessment of a number of the sites on the shortlist. This is industry standard best practice in large capital projects. We have had to do this to exclude the feasibility of alternative options. Therefore, the significant part of the expenditure had to be made, although inevitably some will have been abortive relating to design of specific sites.
A ‘health campus’ brings together in one location a range of healthcare facilities. Importantly it also creates the possibility of developing a ‘critical mass’ of such facilities in the location in future years. The Campus has the potential to include not just the Future Hospital but education facilities, voluntary and community bodies, research institutes, private health care facilities, social care organisations, health related retail, exercise and other health lifestyle facilities and events and so on. The potential combinations are many and varied. A health campus can be created from scratch with new buildings or can ‘re-purpose’ existing buildings in the area or can, most likely in the Jersey context, be a mixture of new and older buildings.
Healthcare is a growth industry. The demand for all kinds of health services and products is increasing. As such the development of a health campus has the potential to contribute to the regeneration of Cheapside.
One of the strongest messages we received during the period of public engagement was the need to provide not just more car parking but also a good amount of ‘drop off’ and ‘pick up’ points as the current places are far from perfect. Whilst the design of the hospital is yet to be confirmed, we will be working with the designers of the new hospital to ensure there are more effective drop off areas. The inclusion of Patriotic Street Car Park in the design will significantly improve overall parking provision with spaces being allocated to hospital patients, visitors and staff.
As the feasibility study progresses we will develop more detail around car parking management, undertake a transport assessment on all types of access and consider the projected growth associated with our aging society to produce a travel plan to meet sustainable transport requirements.
Our first step is always to make contact with all of the owners and occupiers of the properties to explain the project and understand any concerns they may have and how we may improve the scheme for them. We have taken professional advice on the value of acquiring the additional properties in Kensington Place. This will then be the subject of a private negotiation between the owners and the States of Jersey. It is not our intention to use compulsory purchase unless absolutely necessary but these powers may be enacted if a fair value cannot be agreed. We will be working with the owners over the coming months to try to ensure these negotiations are settled as early as possible to give certainty to them and their occupiers so that they can plan for the future.