Publication of New Hospital Report - Next Steps
As Members will be aware, I promised to publish a report on the next steps to be taken on the new hospital project.
I’m pleased to say that this report has now been provided to Members and will be made publicly available shortly.
It is clear that new proposals are needed, following the second rejection by an Environment Minister of a planning application to build a hospital on the Gloucester Street site, and the subsequent decision of the Assembly to rescind the designation of that location as the preferred site.
In considering my new proposals, I’ve spoken to Members over the course of four meetings, in order to hear their informal views on both how the previous project was undertaken and how we should act moving forwards.
I have also spoken with my senior officials.
In summary, I am proposing a phased approach, which will:
- First, establish the agreed clinical requirements of the new hospital
- Second, use these requirements to scope the size and shape of a new hospital, in order to steer the shortlisting process
- Third, through a process of communicating and engaging with islanders and stakeholders on these locations, as well as alongside technical and financial assessments, identify a preferred site for the Government and Assembly to consider and approve.
This process will use relevant information that was gathered for the previous hospital project.
Importantly, it will be supplemented with up-to-date information, in particular surrounding developments in the island’s health care model.
Following feedback from Members, we will create new governance and oversight arrangements.
This will mean that there is appropriate governance in terms of political leadership, scrutiny and sign-off, whilst ensuring that the project moves at pace from here onwards.
I will establish, in conjunction with the Environment Minister, a proper public interest test, to ensure that appropriate consideration is given to this aspect amongst competing interests or ideas.
Likewise, I’m committed to ensuring that the Government updates the planning framework appropriately, so that the new Island Plan specifically allows for a new hospital.
This will be subject to appropriate consultation, Scrutiny and debate by the Assembly.
I will be appointing a new hospital project director, to both initiate this project and to develop an Outline Business Case in early 2020.
A draft planning submission will be produced during 2020, in time for the new Island Plan.
Members will note that the timeline in the report is ambitious.
I firmly believe, though, that if we as Members can get behind the process and ensure that there are no unreasonable delays, it should still be possible to deliver this within 20months.
We need to acknowledge that this is a priority and that it requires us to work together in order to deliver a completed hospital to a similar target date as the previous scheme.
My report highlights four areas where we are going to be working differently compared to previously:
Firstly, there will be increased engagement – with Members, staff, stakeholders and islanders, with the use of citizen panels.
We will also work more closely and constructively with Scrutiny.
Secondly, we will review the model of health care delivery in the island, under the leadership of the Minister for Health and Community Services.
We need to ensure that the clinical requirements for the new hospital are up-to-date.
Thirdly, there will be a construction and development partner earlier in the process. This will drive down costs.
Finally, we must learn from past successes and mistakes and build on that experience.
We must get it right this time and deliver the modern, fit-for-purpose hospital that our island urgently needs.
The timetable is ambitious and challenging, but it is necessary to deliver this crucial project as soon as possible.
Provided we all work together over the forthcoming period, to make this ambition a reality, I am confident that we can deliver this project to the benefit of current and future Islanders.