New Healthcare Facilities Feasibility Study: Why is multi-site healthcare better than a single hospital?

While developing the Feasibility Study, the Programme team have also been preparing the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for the new healthcare facilities.

The SOC basically sets out the strategic reasons for the Programme: to deliver fit for purpose healthcare facilities for all Islanders now and in the future, to replace the outdated and inefficient facilities at the General Hospital and across other existing healthcare sites.

Best practice asks the team to consider all options for the Programme, including ‘Business As Usual’ (BAU) and whether it would be better to proceed with the single-site Our Hospital project. This replaces ‘Do Nothing’ or ‘Do Minimum’ options provided in earlier Business Cases, in line with updated guidance.

While it is easy to understand why BAU would not be best for patients and health staff (meaning continued repairs at the General Hospital), what are the reasons the team have concluded that a multi-site option is better than the single-site Our Hospital?

  1. It provides a plan for healthcare estate development, ensuring those services that were not in the Our Hospital scheme are provided with the future facilities they need. This includes delivery an additional 134 beds across the sites, as well as a range of therapies like hydrotherapy and physiotherapy.
  2. Building on multiple sites, and having a phased building programme, does not place all the financial or construction risk into one solution and one delivery partner, unlike the development of a single-site, single-phase, hospital building.
  3. It provides substantial scope for future expansion over the two sites, which could not be achieved in Our Hospital proposals.
  4. Multi-site construction, as a series of projects delivered in smaller phases, provides increased opportunities for local construction involvement and is more deliverable.
  5. This solution does not require substantial changes to Westmount Road, the Jersey Bowls Club or Westmount Terrace.  This is possible because of the predicted reduced traffic movements to the site, given not all services will be located there.
  6. It separates emergency and outpatient services, dispersing traffic flow, reducing congestion and parking requirements.
  7. It creates additional public space, especially around the old granite building on Gloucester Street.
  8. It returns space and sites for other uses, such as Key Worker accommodation. 
  9. The proposed multi-site solution reduces the impact on the natural and built environment, and the physical mass of the facilities, delivering buildings on each site that are better proportioned to their surroundings and less visually imposing compared to Our Hospital proposals.
  10. It provides opportunity for a ‘spine’ or ‘pavilion’ Acute Hospital as opposed to ‘monoblock’ Our Hospital structure, allowing sections to be opened and closed without closing the whole.

In the final blog post of this series, we’ll be looking at the next steps of the process, including how HCS staff, patients, and those living in the neighbourhoods of the proposed developments can provide feedback across June 2023.

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