Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Another Look at the Dual Site Hospital

Ian Gorst, before Scrutiny yesterday, said that the People's Park had been withdrawn and that showed that the Council of Ministers had listened to the 5,000 protesters. I don't believe a word of it. 

Ask yourself this: would the People's Park have been withdrawn at that States sitting if Simon Crowcroft had not, in fact, put in a proposition to remove it? Would Senator Green have still made the statement?

It was the proposition which focused the Council's mind, more than the protest, although that had an indirect effect. It is clear that behind the scenes, emails were flying from members who would normally support the Council of Minister's decision, but who decided not to after pressure from their constituents.

Senator Green added the numbers, saw he would fail, and withdrew the People's Park so rapidly that even one or two of his fellow Ministers were surprised by the event (as they had no idea that would happen). Is that what you would call "listening", or simply being pragmatic when the game was up? And ask this: if the numbers had gone the other way, do you think he would have withdrawn the site?

So it is back to the drawing board, but this drawing board is interesting, because it actually has some work that's been done on one of the options - and you can see a mock up for yourself!

Another Look at the Dual Site Hospital

In the two pictures above you can see what the original dual site looked like in a mock-up. Notice it was not as high as the recent projection makes out.

The agency which provided this had this to say about it:

"An innovative project for the island of Jersey, taking the existing General hospital in the centre of St Helier to a new life as an acute/elective centre on its densely developed existing site in the town centre, and relocating ambulatory and service departments on a pleasant, rural, sloping site just over a mile away. This separation will enable the main site to be partially cleared and developed. The Ambulatory Care Centre is designed to follow the steep site contours and forms a ‘breaking wave’ on the dramatic site."

"The new general hospital will be formed from a value-engineered blend of refurbishment and new-build, keeping the capital cost within budget and at a level appropriate for an island population. The integration of a grade 1 listed building with the clinical functions was a particular challenge, met by the use of the existing facade as one side of the public atrium. The patients will be accommodated in 100% single rooms. Central to the hospital concept is a separation of of clinical circulation from public routes, contributing to patient safety, infection control, dignity and privacy. Hospital planning at the two sites takes into account the integration of health and social services which is one of the fine characteristics of Jersey healthcare."

On their "CV", GU Consulting (who were involved in the project) also mention other projects which they brought in, some at least as large if not larger than Jersey.

One is the 612-bed, four-storey hospital on the site of the former Edith Cavell Hospital which replaced both Peterborough District Hospital (which opened in 1928 as the War Memorial Hospital and was enlarged in continuous phases between 1960 and 1968) and the Edith Cavell Hospital (built 1988). The main site to be partially cleared and developed. The Ambulatory Care Centre is designed to follow the steep site contours and forms a ‘breaking wave’ on the dramatic site. This cost £335m but came in on time and within budget.

Others included Enniskillen Hospital, Kent Cardiac Centre, Cork Cardiac and Renal Centre and Ulster Hospital in Belfast. All projects were taken to completion.

They have a track record of success, and yet their proposals were just shelved by Senator Green. What sort of record does the current project team have?

Incidentally, there is rather a neat CGI video of what the site would look like. It has no sound, but some interesting visuals, especially the view from hospital rooms at Overdale looking over St Aubin's Bay.

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