The Future Hospital Review Panel has expressed concern at the costs being incurred by the Our Hospital Project.
The Panel has reacted to the release of a report presented by the Minister for Treasury and Resources which outlines the further transfer of funds which is now required due to the Government’s delay in presenting the Outline Business Case (OBC) for the Our Hospital Project.
The delay means that insufficient funds had been allocated in the Government Plan for the ongoing project. The OBC was due to have been presented in May this year and was delayed until July. It is the next milestone in the project and will be accompanied by a proposition detailing the funding for the hospital, which is now due to be debated in September.
The Future Hospital Panel Chair, Senator Kristina Moore, said: ‘According to the figures contained in this report, we are at a point where £50 million will have been spent by September, yet we have no specific plans or a planning application. Money is now being taken from a wide variety of projects which are being deferred until next year, mostly from sport and digital projects.’
Senator Moore has also responded to comments in the report that the Our Hospital Political Oversight Group have advised the Treasurer that the delay to the OBC and the impact on the project’s funding was caused by the ‘unplanned States Assembly debate on preferred access route which was triggered by an amendment to the site selection proposition’.
‘The Future Hospital Review Panel understands the political time pressure that the Our Hospital Project Team is under. However, the amendments to the proposition were approved by the States Assembly in order to ensure appropriate information is provided prior to committing the island to progressing this major project. Neither Members or Scrutiny should be criticised for, or discouraged from, political challenge. It is our role to hold the minister to account.’ said Senator Moore.
‘Scrutiny is reminded often by Ministerial colleagues of the time constraints which have been imposed on this project. It remains crucial that robust scrutiny takes place and that States Members bring forward changes and commentary which reflect the views of their constituents.
‘It is always the intention of Scrutiny to play a constructive part in a process to ensure the best results for the Island. The Council of Ministers, and by extension the OH Political Oversight Group, is accountable to the States Assembly and, ultimately, to the Jersey Public.’
Scrutiny Press Release.