Hospital Funding: Another Delay?
6th December 2017
Patience, not patients: Could there by another halt to the new hospital?
A Scrutiny Panel wants the Treasury Minister to delay the debate on funding Jersey’s new hospital… again.
The discussion is to start due in the States next Tuesday, but the Future Hospital Review Panel says it is ‘unconvinced that it should take place in the absence of planning approval’.
Its review claims there are ‘serious short-term risks’ that put the success of the project in doubt.
Panel chair Deputy Simon Bree reckons planning consent is a must before the States move any further forward.
“How can you approve something, and the huge amount of money – the £466 million – the States are being asked to approve, if you don’t even know if it can be built there.”
The panel appointment technical advisers Concerto Partners LLP and Opus Corporate Finance to help in the review. Opus concluded the funding proposal – to borrow most of the capital cost (£275m) – is sensible.
Concerto’s summary of the Outline Business Case is that it “is fit for purpose and presents a sound enough basis for decision-making by the States Assembly.”
However they did raise concerns that the successful delivery of the project in the short term is in doubt.
The three areas highlighted:
1. Planning permission is not granted yet.
2. The States is yet to approve proposition for funding and Outlline Business Case.
3. Even if it is approved, there will be a need to find and appoint contractor who needs to start work quickly.
The Scrutiny Panel has recommended that the Treasury Minister delays the debate until the first States sitting after the decision has been made on the planning application.
In response, Senator Alan MacLean says the recommendation ‘doesn’t make sense’ and that they need to ‘move forward with this critical project’.