Hospital staff call for work to start on Princess Elizabeth Hospital

The clinical director of Guernsey's hospital says staff are "sometimes working in inappropriate environments", as calls were made for Phase 2 of the site's modernisation project to begin.

Jan Coleman says a decision needs to be made, as money will be spent either way.

"If Phase 2 doesn't happen or is delayed, we have to spend money to keep the hospital itself fit for purpose.

"We know the issues addressed in Phase 2 will need to be addressed and that costs money. We can't sit still."

The project involves building a three-floor extension with new facilities for women and children that include refurbishing the maternity, neonatal intensive care and pediatric units.

There are also plans for a new entrance, and outpatient and operating theatres.

Under the proposals, the current fracture, breast and orthopedic units would be upgraded.

The Phase 2 development has been talked about for more than a decade and was approved by the States in 2019.

However, the costs have sky-rocketed over the last few years - from an estimated £72-96m two years ago to well over £100m now.

The head of Guernsey's health committee says the island's hospital urgently needs upgrading.

Deputy Al Brouard said: "There isn't the extra funding that Policy and Resources had hoped, so I can understand their dilemma.

"But whichever happens, we're going to have more patients we need to treat going forward.

"And the demographics is not going to change depending on what politicians did or didn't do yesterday"

John Eaton has worked at the hospital for 14 years, having previously worked for the NHS in the UK - he says the state of the facility is making it harder to recruit staff. "When you are constantly fighting every day niggling things, like there's not enough storage space, not having the right equipment or having to walk further to get things because of the layout of the wards.

"It might sound like trivial things but it all adds to the reasons why you might not want to work here rather than why you would want to."

A decision will be made when the States debate which projects to approve or put on the backburner in July.

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