The New Healthcare Facilities team gives an update on construction industry engagement.
The New Healthcare Facilities team has been keen to make an early start on engaging with the local construction sector, as we hope they will all have a role to play in delivering infrastructure and buildings for vital healthcare services. Last week we hosted a discussion forum for Jersey’s construction companies, suppliers and associated professionals to present the latest updates on the Programme and answer their questions about how they can become involved.
One of the key benefits of a phased, multi-site solution is that we won’t be relying on just one large delivery partner, but rather there will be smaller projects within the Programme that Island enterprises can deliver. The Enid Quenault Health and Wellbeing Centre at the former Les Quennevais school was delivered by Rok, and the Jersey Demolition Contractors are working at Overdale on the demolition .
To be clear, we do think that we will still need off-island expertise when it comes to delivering the really technical buildings, but there are many elements for which local skills, knowledge and experience can and will be used. We are very mindful that every pound given to a Jersey company goes back into the Island economy, and where we can make that virtuous circle work, we will.
In fact, even when we do employ off-island companies, works can still flow through to local companies. As Government of Jersey, we will ensure that through the procurement process, if there is a local company that wants to be involved, can provide the expertise, has the capacity and is the best value for money, their services will be used.
It’s worth reiterating why we are calling this a ‘programme’ of work rather than a project: we are talking about a programme made up of several projects which will be delivered over a number of years. One advantage of a longer-term programme is that there will be multiple contracts of different values, enabling more local contractors to be involved through direct government orders. These individuals, organisations and suppliers will also be in a great position to help us maintain assets into the future.
The initial tranche of works for the NHFP can be broken down into 15 projects that represent a mixture of healthcare buildings and civil engineering projects.
Of course, our focus in the first phase of works is making sure that all of these projects deliver facilities for modern healthcare, including the Acute Hospital at Overdale. Many aspects of this building can be separately procured, such as drainage works, surveys and site accommodation. At the same time, we will be developing the land we’ve acquired at Kensington Place into ‘meanwhile use’ facilities for the existing hospital, including much needed welfare facilities for staff, and new public realm access. There will also be work required on the old Jersey Water building and Westmount Terrace near to the Overdale site.
As part of the Programme, there will be a big piece of work around training and skills – as happened under the previous Future Hospital and Our Hospital schemes – so the construction sector and Government Departments will also see benefits in terms of future workforce development.
This event on Monday was the first step in what we hope will be a long and fruitful engagement with the local industry. There were detailed conversations around procurement contracts, and the optimal notice periods and timescales that smaller local suppliers would prefer to be able to take part. The team will take on board the feedback received on the night, as well as from a questionnaire following the event as we progress the Programme in the coming months.