Senator Lyndon Farnham says the site selection procedure for choosing Overdale as Jersey's new hospital has been "robust and comprehensive".
His comments are in response to the Future Hospital Scrutiny Panel's report, which found the process was flawed and did not follow appropriate guidelines. It said sites that met the criteria were discounted, and there is no guarantee the hospital can be delivered within the proposed budget of £550 million.
Senator Farnham says the report contains "factual errors."
I was disappointed to note that a number of factual errors identified by officers in the draft were not amended in your final published report. The effect is to make public a number of comments and assertions that I believe are unsubstantiated or factually inaccurate.
He continues to say a comprehensive investigation was held for all possible sites and all 82 sites nominated by the public were looked at in a consistent way.
The Panel’s report claims that criteria were not consistently applied. This is not correct. Once a shortlist of sites was identified, subject matter experts from our Design and Delivery Partner undertook a suite of technical assessments using the Citizens’ Panel criteria.
The letter outlines that the Our Hospital Political Oversight Group (POG) extensively engaged with stakeholders, clinicians, neighbours and landowners and a full schedule of this was provided to Scrutiny. Senator Farnham says it is "disappointing" it was not acknowledged in the report.
While the Deputy Chief Minister says he is pleased the panel’s advisers agree that the anticipated cost per square metre is acceptable, he wants to reiterate compulsory purchase will not be the Government’s preferred approach and that it will "always seek to negotiate and pay a fair compensation for land that we acquire for a new hospital."
We have been in discussion with landowners for some considerable time and have made noteworthy progress in assembling the land necessary to deliver Our Hospital. However, we need to be prepared to use compulsory purchase powers to avoid further costly delay if we cannot be successful in negotiation.