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Overdale Hospital approval could be given at the end of the year

Jersey's government has given islanders an update about the progress of the New Healthcare Facilities Programme in its Common Strategic Policy report for the next two years.

This proposal outlines the government's priorities for their term in office (2024 - 2026) and includes a pledge to start building the new Overdale facility. 

Currently, healthcare is being delivered in several 'aged buildings that do not support modern practices and present daily challenges to patients and staff'.

Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham's promised to get the ball rolling on changing this:

"The new hospital programme is running to plan. A planning application will be submitted in the not-so-distant future - hopefully, full approval will be given later this year.

"As soon as we have that, we'll start building. I anticipate building will take place if all goes to plan early next year but right now we're getting on with the demolition of the Overdale site."

Demolition of the old Overdale Hospital

Plans for the hospital are just one of 12 distinct priorities for the government over the next two years. 

Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham said he's put the needs of islanders at the forefront of the aims:

"We wanted to make sure we had a realistic target. Previous governments have tried to do too much, have had hundreds of priorities and have not really delivered any.

"We've gone and focused on the areas we need to deliver on quickly to help islanders: health, cost of living and affordable homes."

READ MORE: More Young People Eligible For Social Housing

The 12 policy strategies include: 

  • Extend nursery and childcare provision;

  • Provide a nutritious school meal for every child in all States' primary schools;

  • Increase the provision of lifelong learning and skills development;

  • Start building a new hospital at Overdale;

  • Reduce GP fees;

  • Implement the recommendations from the Violence Against Women and Girls Taskforce report;

  • Transition to a living wage;

  • Provide more affordable homes for Islanders and more confidence for the rented sector;

  • Keep Government fees, duties, and charges as low as possible to help Islanders with the cost of living in 2025;

  • Reduce red tape, enhance opportunities for business and strengthen Jersey’s international reputation;

  • Deliver a plan to revitalise the town;

  • Reform the planning service to get Jersey building more.

Plans for flats at South Hill that have been given planning consent. Credit: Jersey Development Company

Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham explains how he's going to implement these policies: 

"Moving to the living wage will be done in stages and we will also provide support to employers to transition to the living wage as that can be quite challenging for smaller and larger businesses in key sectors of our economy such as agriculture, tourism and retail. 

"The Housing Minister recently introduced the Step Up Scheme which has been very successful and has been fully subscribed so I would like to do more of that. We're also going to reform the planning process, introduce fast track planning schemes. We want to make sure our infrastructure also allows for new builds of affordable homes. 

"Those are the areas we'll be working on to help put more affordable, new homes on the market but also to provide support to especially young islanders with shared equity and deposit schemes to help them get on the housing ladder."

"We'll also increase the subsidy for GPs. Research has shown that the cost of a GP visit is still a barrier to some people seeking healthcare as and when they need it so we're keen to help with that. That'll be implemented fairly quickly and will help islanders bear down on the cost of living."

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