Deciding where Jersey’s Future Hospital should be built is one of the most important choices we will make in a generation. It’s essential we get it right to make sure we’re protecting the health and interests of Islanders – not just now, but for decades to come.
In January this year, the Council of Ministers agreed there would be a period of public engagement to consider four sites that had been shortlisted for Jersey’s Future Hospital. It soon emerged during this engagement that People’s Park was not an acceptable site for the public or the majority of the States Assembly, so the decision was made to remove it from the possible options.
From public meetings and correspondence, it was clear that:
- Town sites were more generally acceptable than out-of-town sites due to the need for the hospital to remain a “special place” – accessible to all. Concerns about accessibility were also expressed about the Overdale Site, even though it is within St Helier
- Building on the Existing Site (as the plan then stood) was expensive, drawn out and disruptive and was not likely to ever be acceptable to patients or clinicians
- Using the Waterfront, while acceptable in terms of build result and location, was never likely to be acceptable in terms of the loss of the value of that site for other development
After a period of reflection, the Council of Ministers has now confirmed that the site choice for the new hospital will be a development of the existing site along Newgate Street and Kensington Place. Though the new proposal also uses the existing site, the actual plan is very different to anything that came before. This option means that a new hospital will use assets on land surrounding the General Hospital in addition to the area currently occupied by the Gwyneth Huelin Wing and Peter Crill House. This allows a new hospital to be built in a single main construction phase which will be quicker, cheaper and more efficient. When the new hospital is complete, staff and services will then migrate over, enabling the existing site to be used in a different way.
This option may include acquiring additional properties in the area and we will seek to negotiate with property owners and occupiers to minimise disruption.
This new proposal is an excellent option and will, I believe:
- Deliver a good quality hospital that is fit for purpose
- Be delivered in eight years, in a single main construction phase
- Align to States of Jersey fiscal plans and be delivered on budget
- Be acceptable to the Parish of St Helier
- Be acceptable to Planning
- Minimise disruption to the current hospital, which would not have been the case with the previous plan to use the existing site
We are recommending this preferred option as it creates the right balance between:
- A high quality hospital
- Convenience and acceptability of location
- Speed of delivery
We will be undertaking an engagement exercise shortly to explain the implications of this preferred site option. States Members will be asked to approve the site later this year.
Choosing the site of the new hospital is an important decision and it is, therefore, right that the process has involved carefully weighing up many possible site options. However, it is now imperative that we get on with delivering an excellent new hospital for the people of Jersey on the preferred site.
Bernard Place, Project Director, Future Hospital Jersey