The Minister for Health and Community Services has published a response to the Hospital Policy Development Board report.
The Hospital Policy Development Board was asked to review the evidence for the decision to build the Future Hospital on the current site, and the Chairman of the Board, Assistant Chief Minister, Connétable Christopher Taylor, presented its report to the Chief Minister earlier this month.
Deputy Richard Renouf disagreed with several of the Board's findings, because he said that they were not based on evidence. He makes the following points in his response to the report:
delay in identifying and agreeing a different site, and then building a new hospital, is estimated to be ten years. This is in contrast to a plan which is ready to go and could deliver a new hospital for Islanders in phases with new outpatient facilities ready in 2022, and all clinical facilities completed in 2025.
the Minister has grave concerns about the risks of running the present hospital for an extended time. These include increasing risks to patient safety (due to infection and disease control and overcrowding), the affordability, funding and maintenance of the existing buildings, which are decaying and not fit for purpose.
no compelling evidence was identified to show that the States Assembly made a wrong decision about the approved site. No other site emerges as a clear alternative, because all have downsides.
the approved site was properly evaluated and sufficient and accurate information was provided to politicians to make decisions.
the Minister acknowledged the challenges of building beside an existing hospital but noted the Hospital Policy Development Board’s conclusion that that the current site could deliver an acute general hospital facility. The Minister and all Board members came to a good understanding of the that mitigation measures that the specialist hospital contractors would put in place and also acknowledged that any risk to patients and staff can be safely managed.
Deputy Renouf said “I have presented a report to the Council of Ministers which sets out my view that several of the Hospital Policy Development Board's findings were not based on evidence, and my grave concerns about the risks of running the present hospital for an extended time.
"However, I accept all politicians and Islanders will have different opinions and I look forward to the further debate the Chief Minister has promised.”