THE decade-long quest to build a new hospital in the Island is expected to enter its latest stage tomorrow, as the government releases a ‘feasibility study’ into splitting inpatient and outpatient services between Kensington Place and Overdale.
So far, the States have spent £130.6m on previous projects and been forced to write off £38.6m of that total without a spade entering the ground.
Although the preferred option of what goes where is yet to be decided, the government has confirmed that when it comes to the principal buildings in its ‘New Healthcare Facilities’ programme, it is a two-horse race.
This involves an inpatient/outpatient split at Overdale and a cleared site off Kensington Place, which the public has bought from Andium Homes for £16 million.
The ‘ambulatory/acute’ split was the preferred choice of Health staff and clinicians when they were asked, according to the government.
One of the options has echoes of a plan proposed in 2013 – dubbed the ‘Future Hospital Project’ – when then-Health Minister Anne Pryke announced a £297m plan to redevelop Overdale as an outpatients’ centre, including the diabetes, cardiology and renal units, new laboratory and pharmacy facilities, and an enhanced rehab unit.
The existing General Hospital, meanwhile, would have undergone a major refurbishment, with a ‘substantially modernised facility for inpatient care’, including eight new operating theatres, a new Emergency Department, and a refurbished maternity unit.
However, that project never got off the ground and was superseded by a plan to significantly redevelop and expand Gloucester Street.
Whether the ‘outpatients at Overdale’ division is the same in plans ten years later will be known later this week.
The current New Healthcare Facilities programme includes other sites: the Enid Quénault Health and Wellness Centre in the former Les Quennevais School, and the construction of a ‘Community Health Village’ in St Saviour, including a possible location for mental-health services.
The government said that in developing these latest options, the team behind the project had included facilities that were not in the scope of the ‘Our Hospital’ single-site design, including rehabilitation and post-hospital care, dementia beds, and multiple therapies.
The two options have been assessed against a series of criteria drawn up to define what would constitute a successful outcome.
The options were scored during five workshops, which were overseen by an independent chair and attended by UK and local team members, clinicians, and subject experts.
Following review by ministers and Scrutiny, the summary findings are due to be released this week, and will then be part of a month-long consultation process.
This would take place in workshops, focus groups, staff drop-ins and neighbourhood forums.
When it comes to consultation, the government has held 44 user groups, which have been attended by more than 50 people. It has also asked for views via an online polling platform.
It said that consultation would continue throughout June until the final decision on the two options was reached at the end of the month.
Funding for the first phase of the New Healthcare Facilities programme, expected to be the redevelopment of Overdale, will be debated as part of the Government Plan process in December.