Future Hospital Review Panel examine developments to hospital plans

8th September 2023

On Wednesday 6th September, the Future Hospital Review Panel held a public hearing with the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson, as part of its review of the New Healthcare Facilities Programme (NHFP) developed by Government to deliver a new hospital.

The Panel was seeking information on the Minister's and Health Community Services Department involvement in the decisions which have been made to choose a multi-site option, which includes an acute hospital at Overdale and out-patient services at the site of the current General Hospital on Gloucester Street.


The Minister made it clear during the hearing that she supported a two-site option which would split the acute and ambulatory services over two sites. She said that the programme originated with the work done by the Chief Minister to reset the direction for Jersey's hospital facilities after the election in June 2022. The Minister said that the Government would need to revisit some of the challenges around affordability and cost.


Deputy Karen Wilson told the Panel that there was a revenue consequence to developing a multi-site option and that the extent of the duplication of services, staff, and costs would not be known until the Outline Business Case had been delivered. She said that the business case was due to come before the States Assembly for debate in about June 2024.


The Panel asked the Minister when her Care Model Framework, which will define the way health services are delivered in the future, would be published and how this aligned with the timescale for building facilities which would accommodate those services. Deputy Wilson and Mr Bown both confirmed that ideally a care model framework would be in place prior to the design of facilities but that in this case it would have been fitted to the infrastructure as it was built.


During the hearing, the future of the Samarés Ward rehabilitation centre was discussed. The Minister said that it would be difficult to continue providing care at the centre once construction work began at Overdale. She confirmed one of the options being explored with the Parish of St Helier was for the service to be transferred to St Ewolds, which is owned by the Parish.  Deputy Wilson said it was hoped that the same team would be there to provide a quality service and continuity to patients in a safe and accessible location.


The hearing also focused on engagement with healthcare staff by the department and the project team. This included the impact on staff at the Ambulance Station. Both the Minister and Mr Bown said that they had not had direct contact from members of the Ambulance Service, which is under the remit of the Home Affairs Minister.


Deputy Sam Mézec, Chair of Future Hospital Review Panel, said: 'It was concerning that the Minister admits that she was unhappy with the level of engagement with healthcare staff when she inherited this project, and that we would not see any building competition in this term of office. Deputy Wilson is aware of our concerns and expressed that she is confident that we can eventually improve the level of service than the Island currently receives'.


A recording of the Public Hearing can be found here.

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