Ministers revert to original plans for Jersey's hospital after spending £130 million over 11 years

The Government of Jersey has gone full circle in its plans for a new hospital.

A feasibility study has found that a multi-site hospital is the preferred option - an idea that was originally proposed by former Health Minister Anne Pryke in 2013.

The plan to build a new hospital first began in 2012 and ministers have gone back and forth over whether it should be based in one building or across multiple sites - but this latest feasibility study moves the island a step closer to the latter.

Evaluating two options (A and B) - experts involved in the study concluded that option B was the more favourable of the two.

Option A:

  • An Acute (Inpatient) facility at Kensington Place

  • An Ambulatory (Outpatient) facility at Overdale

  • A Health Village at St Saviour (with capacity for rehabilitation and long-term care facilities)

Option B (preferred):

  • An Acute (Inpatient) facility at Overdale

  • An Ambulatory (Outpatient) facility at Kensington Place

  • A Health Village at St Saviour (with capacity for rehabilitation and long-term care facilities)

Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, said: "Following expert advice, it was clear to Ministers that Option B offered the best way forward, having the best score from clinicians while minimising the impact on patients, and the public, during construction."

"It would also ensure that we deliver a much-needed acute hospital facility by 2028, with the process accelerated through the use of modern methods of construction.

"We will now enter a month of consultation with States Members, Scrutiny, the public, the residents of Overdale, Kensington Place and St Saviour, patient groups, the third sector, and most importantly Health staff, to confirm our plans before the final Feasibility study is presented to the States Assembly in July."

The two options were assessed against various criteria - including environmental, infrastructure, planning, heritage and construction matters - and scored during five workshops which were overseen by an independent chair.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, is pushing for a multi-site hospital she insists will present better value for money. Credit: ITV Channel

However, Jersey's former Deputy Chief Minister, Deputy Lyndon Farnham, still believes a single-site hospital is the best option for Jersey and doubts the new plan is any cheaper.

He said: "The Overdale plan was scrapped on the basis of political opinion, not expert advice.

"All I want now is the best clinical solution for islanders and I am prepared to back anything, but I can't do that until we get the detail.

"Given that the rational given by the Chief Minister for scrapping the single-site solution at Overdale was that she could produce a plan that would cost considerably less and deliver better clinical outcomes, that has not been proven at all to date.

"The island is in limbo as we can't make any decisions until we have the costings and there is no detail on the costings."

Deputy Farnham says the current government has not taken into account the cost of running a hospital over multiple sites. Credit: ITV Channel

Peter Funk, of the Friends of Our Hospital pressure group, however supports what is now being proposed.

He told ITV News: "I'm very encouraged and I didn't think I'd say that, but at last it looks like we could have a programme that delivers the hospital facilities we've been trying to build for the last 13 years and have spent £130m on the process of not building one."

Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Ian Gorst, added: "We are committed to ensuring that the plans we follow represent the best value for money for Islanders and mitigate the financial risks of developing a single-site hospital with a single contractor.

"I will be working alongside ministerial colleagues to ensure that the cost proposals brought to the Assembly in the Government Plan present States Members with the most prudent means of delivering multi-site healthcare and provide for the ongoing work on the Jersey Health Estate."

ITV Channel's roundup of the different hospital plans proposed over the last decade:

  • 2012: Jersey's Health Minister, Deputy Anne Pryke, announces £293 million plans to build a new hospital.

  • 2013: A dual-site hospital is first proposed.

  • 2014: Deputy Pryke's successor as Health Minister, Senator Andrew Green, promised a site would be chosen 'within 100 days'.

  • 2015: The Minister says 'more research is needed', rules out a dual-site option, and says a decision will be made by January 2016.

  • February 2016: Public consultation into five potential sites, including People's Park.

Protesters faced-off with Ministers over turning the People's Park into a new hospital. Credit: ITV Channel
  • Later February 2016: People's Park was ruled out as an option following public backlash.

  • June 2016: Senator Green announces a new hospital will be built on the existing Gloucester Street site.

  • November 2017: Public inquiry into plans to build on Gloucester Street opens.

  • December 2017: States Assembly approves £466 million in funding for the new hospital.

  • January 2018: Gloucester Street plans denied planning permission by Environment Minister, Deputy Steve Luce.

Two consecutive Planning Ministers, Deputies Steve Luce and John Young, both rejected plans to build a new hospital. Credit: ITV Channel
  • January 2019: Revised Gloucester Street plans also denied planning permission by the new Environment Minister, Deputy John Young.

  • November 2019: Islanders invited to join a 'citizens panel' to help decide the best plans for a new hospital.

  • July 2020: New shortlist of five potential sites was published - including People's Park, again.

  • September 2020: Shortlist was reduced to two options - People's Park and Overdale.

Redeveloping the Overdale Hospital site into a 'world-class' health campus was the preferred option of Jersey's 2018-22 government. Credit: ITV Channel
  • October 2020: Overdale was chosen as the preferred site for a new hospital.

  • November 2020: States Members approve Overdale as the chosen site.

  • May 2021: New £804 million plans for 'world-class' hospital at Overdale published.

  • November 2021: Planning application for Overdale hospital submitted.

  • December 2021: St Helier parishioners block plans to build a widened access road to Overdale.

A parish assembly voted on the plans to allow Westmount Road to be expanded. Credit: ITV Channel
  • February 2022: Plans to demolish existing Overdale buildings rejected.

  • April 2022: Planning inspector appointed to review Overdale plans.

  • May 2022: Overdale hospital plans granted planning permission by Deputy John Young.

  • September 2022: New government stops work on Overdale plans and calls a review.

Infrastructure Minister, Deputy Tom Binet, said the government had 'no choice' but to abandon the last government's plans to build a new hospital at Overdale in order to save taxpayers' money.

  • 1 November 2022: Review recommends new dual-site hospital split between Overdale and Gloucester Street.

  • 30 November 2022: Chief Minister reveals 'Our Hospital' project spent more on consultants than all the previous schemes combined.

  • 4 April 2023: Infrastructure Minister announces the government is looking to buy more land on Kensington Place to make room for the proposed dual-site hospital.

The government says its multi-site hospital will deliver an additional 134 beds, as well as a range of previously excluded therapies - but exact details are yet to be provided.

So, when will Jersey's new hospital open?

It is hoped that planning permission for the new Overdale facility (for inpatients) will be achieved by the end of 2023 with construction starting in 2025 and the building opening in 2028.

Meanwhile, work on the Kensington Place site (for outpatients) could start in 2025 and be completed by 2027, with further phases starting in 2028 and finishing in 2031.

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