20 February 2015
A project to construct two new temporary theatres at Jersey General Hospital will start in March. This follows the appointment of a local contractor by Jersey Property Holdings, who will oversee the project on behalf of the Health and Social Services Department.
This first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in early 2016. A second phase of work, which will refurbish the current four theatres and increase capacity to six theatres overall, including the Maternity Theatre, will begin later in 2016.
The development follows the issuing of a planning permit to provide temporary facilities for a period of up to ten years until the anticipated major project for a new hospital facility is realised.
The new facility, containing two operating theatres, will be sited in the Gloucester Street car park and attached to the hospital's main theatre suite, enabling the existing theatres to be refurbished.
Maternity Unit to relocate cases
Hospital Managing Director Helen O’Shea said "The infrastructure of the existing theatres is nearly 30-years-old and in need of refurbishment, meaning that additional theatre space is required in order to carry on with our operating lists whilst upgrading work takes place. After refurbishment is complete, the Maternity Unit will relocate its theatre cases to the main operating block, in line with modern practice.
“Additionally, and very importantly, demands for planned surgery are growing, and we need to increase capacity in order to meet this demand.”
David Ahier, Project Manager for Jersey Property Holdings, outlined further detail regarding the project. “The General Hospital’s four main theatres are serviced by two air handling units (AHU) which were installed in 1987 and are now beyond their useful life and obsolete in terms of parts; they do not meet current regulations and improvements to bring them up to current standards are impossible.
“The maternity unit has a dedicated maternity theatre that does not meet the modern standards expected for such a facility and the revised layout will provide a direct link between maternity and main theatres to allow patients to be rapidly transferred.
“The construction of two additional operating theatres is the first stage of this project. The new theatres will be constructed on a steel support framework which will incorporate plant rooms and equipment spaces. The theatres will be constructed of lightweight materials which will facilitate rapid installation to minimise disruption to the Hospital.”
Local company awarded contract
Tenders were sought from local companies for the first phase of the project, with the lowest fixed price tender being submitted by ROK Construction Limited for £3.1 million.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green, said the new project was an integral part of the move towards developing Jersey’s Future Hospital.
“Work on our theatres is essential and cannot be delayed. The 2012 White Paper addressing the Redesign of Health and Social Services highlighted that new hospital capacity would be needed within 10 years, and the planning permit for this work extends for 10 years, up to the point where the proposed future hospital capacity could be in place,” he said.