Deputy describes ‘excellent’ care in poor facilities during hospital stay

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St Helier Deputy Richard Rondel, who is ‘frustrated’ by the delays to the £466 million future hospital project, said he has spoken out about the state of the hospital in order to rally Islanders into backing the proposals.

From his 15-year-old son ‘hearing and seeing things he should not have done’ due to a lack of patient privacy, to having to wedge a window open with his shoe, Deputy Rondel, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer two-and-a-half years ago, says a new hospital is much-needed.

And he says that after speaking to staff – many of whom live in St Helier and walk to work – during his time as a patient he is sure the current plans are the best for the Island.

However, he said that rather than building as tall a facility as planned, Health should consider using Patriotic Street car park to increase the footprint of the new hospital and create parking elsewhere.

His comments come after Environment Minister Steve Luce last week rejected plans for the future hospital following a recommendation by an independent planning inspector regarding the scale and mass of the proposals.

Health has since said it will not reconsider alternative sites and stressed that the decision would not delay the planned opening of the new facility in 2024.

‘I didn’t like the scale and mass of what was being proposed,’ Mr Rondel (53) said.

‘We have gone through all the different sites. That decision has been made but people are still wanting other sites.

‘The existing hospital site is the right location. Let the team look at Patriotic Street car park for extra facilities rather than the mass and scale they were looking at beforehand.

‘I think once it is all cleared there will be a large area towards the Parade, a green space available for the future for other services that are needed.’

He added: ‘The project team must listen to Planning about the scale of what they put in. If they did that in the first place we would not be in this place now.

‘Other politicians need to stop looking at these ridiculous out-of-town areas – they need to think about the patients and staff.’

Although Deputy Rondel said he has received ‘excellent’ care he added that the facilities are ‘not up to scratch’. Surveys have shown that the Hospital has major failings requiring Health to carry out repairs and maintenance works.

‘Every time I have been in you hear drills and building works going on,’ he said. ‘It is a building site as it is. We are spending huge amounts of money just keeping things running. It is in desperate need of replacement.’

He added: ‘One of the evenings I had to move room because the bath started leaking water into the room itself. That should not happen.

‘It was really warm one night. I struggled to open the window and I had to put my shoe in to hold it open. It is ridiculous – this is the state of our existing hospital.

‘And when I was in a ward, the curtains when you are next to someone else are very flimsy. My 15-year-old son came in to see me and heard and saw things he should not have heard. It has affected him.’

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