08 October 2013
Plans to invest £297 million in new hospital facilities in Jersey will provide a comprehensive long-term answer to the future healthcare needs of Islanders.
Following agreement by the Council of Ministers that proposals in the Budget should allocate funds from the Island’s Strategic Reserve towards the Future Hospital project, the Health and Social Services Department (HSS) has outlined details of the proposed scheme.
The Future Hospital Project will cover two sites:
- a substantially modernised facility for inpatient care on the existing General Hospital site. This will include eight new operating theatres, a new accident and emergency department, and a refurbished maternity unit. Patients will be offered single-bedded rooms with private bathrooms, in contrast to the existing six-bedded wards
- a new building on the site of the current Overdale Hospital at Westmount. This will provide outpatient care including the diabetes and cardiology centres and the renal unit, in addition to new laboratory and pharmacy facilities and an enhanced rehab unit. All patients requiring routine appointments, without the need to be admitted to hospital overnight, will be treated at the new Overdale site
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Anne Pryke, said her department’s plans would provide a safe, sustainable and affordable healthcare system for years to come.
“The existing hospital is past its sell-by date and everyone, including staff and the public, agree it is in significant need of modernisation,” she said. “Jersey has an ageing population, with forecasts showing the number of those aged 65 or over will double in the next 30 years.
“An older population will have additional healthcare needs and this is the challenge that the Future Hospital Project addresses.”
Chief Executive of Health and Social Services, Julie Garbutt, said that the project was consistent with the Health and Social Services White Paper, which sought to provide an increased amount of community healthcare for Islanders.
“The hospital will still be there for those who need immediate treatment as an inpatient, but we also recognise that most people would prefer to remain at home in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. Our aim is to achieve the best quality of healthcare for our patients, and at the same time making the most efficient use of resources.”
Treasury and Resources Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, said that his initial allocation was for a sum of £10.2million in the 2014 Budget, with further allocations in subsequent years. He said the total investment of £297million was the right level for Jersey’s healthcare needs.
“This investment will enable Health and Social Services to deliver their aspirations, but it is also affordable from within existing resources,” he said. “For the first time in many years, we propose to invest in infrastructure by drawing from the Island’s Strategic Reserve in order to achieve this vital project.
“The Strategic Reserve has shown consistently good performance over the last two years and in the last six months has seen exceptional growth, so we are confident in proposing an amendment to the Strategic Reserve policy in the 2014 Budget, which will enable us to use these returns to fund the Future Hospital project.”
Helen O’Shea, Managing Director of Jersey General Hospital, highlighted a number of key benefits of the scheme.
“The move to single-bedded rooms will have a pronounced impact on privacy for patients, as well as offering enhanced levels of infection control,” she said. “Our investment in the existing site will bring areas such as maternity and the emergency department up to the latest standards.
“The Westmount Health Centre will include a fantastic new building where patients will be able to come for a single day and get all their diagnostic and outpatient appointments taken care of.”
The Future Hospital plans will be presented to Islanders during a series of public meetings that will occur during the latter part of October and in November.