A delay of just five years would add an estimated £25million to the cost of implementing Phase 2 of the Hospital Modernisation project, according to HSC’s Finance Business Partner.
The Committee for Health & Social Care re-visited its case for continuing with the modernisation of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital during a media briefing yesterday.
Various stakeholders gathered to hammer home the point that choosing not to prioritise the second phase of the Hospital Modernisation Project will be disastrous for the island, with the President of HSC going so far as to say that “the island would rue the day” if it mothballed the project.
Due to a failure to agree to a new way of raising taxes earlier this year, Policy & Resources has been forced to be more ruthless with the public purse and re-shuffling the capital portfolio is one such move to spend money more wisely. It means the States Assembly will be forced to debate whether to prioritise the completion of the Education Programme or the completion of the Hospital Modernisation Project, unless a compromise agreement is devised before July’s debate.
Pictured: Phase 2 of the Hospital Modernisation Project.
After some background information delivered by Deputy Al Brouard, Dr Peter Rabey and Jan Coleman (Director of Acute Services), Lead Nurse Elaine Burgess laid out the ramifications of delaying the project.
She said the hospital environment currently doesn’t meet Health Care regulations and explained that the team at the PEH will be unable to expand cardiology and oncology without the expansion.
A completed project will also reduce waiting times for various services, including endoscopy and orthopaedic procedures.
Dr Rabey is Guernsey’s Medical Director and took the opportunity to highlight a specific problem that’ll be rectified by the completion of phase 2.
“[Our maternity unit] is on the on the wrong floor for theatres, and it takes us about eight minutes to get you from [the maternity unit] down to theatre, and this is when every minute counts trying to get that baby out in a hurry. That's eight minutes we really could do without. So, in this new setup, the machine is right next door to the operating theatre.”
Pictured: Five ambulances waiting at the current Emergency Department entrance, a situation that'll be alleviated with the implementation of phase 2.
Much has been made of the demographic time-bomb the island is facing, with an ageing population set to put even more pressure on the island’s single hospital.
According to Ms Burgess this ‘silver tsunami’ is already upon us and the PEH is struggling to cope with the number of people already requiring its services.
“We used to have what we call winter pressures, we don't have that now, we have pressures all year round," she said.
"We have capacity issues all the time. In the summer we used to have safety briefings in the morning. But now we have them about two to three times a day due to capacity issues. These are the pressures we're dealing with and this is this is why we need this phase two.”
The briefing culminated in HSC’s Finance Business Partner, Darren Smith, outlining the financial cost for delaying the second phase of the Hospital Modernisation Project.
He said a 5-year delay would result in three branches of additional cost, including further inflation exposure, a need to re-tender and re-engage the supply chain, and new minor capital works.
In total Mr Smith said this would inflate the estimate the cost for phase 2 to £146.4million, which is £25.6million more than the current estimate.
You can see a breakdown of the costs if the project continued as it was originally meant to below:
Express interviewed Deputy Brouard after the presentation for a political podcast which will be published later this morning.
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