Guernsey Press

‘When did HSC advise P&R of the costs?’ - St Pier

A deputy is calling for more transparency regarding the second phase of development of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, after it emerged that the estimated cost of the project had increased by up to £30m. since the States agreed funding less than five months ago.

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Deputy Gavin St Pier. (33052878)

Gavin St Pier plans to ask questions of Health & Social Care president Al Brouard under the States Rules of Procedure at next week’s States meeting.

He wants to know when members of HSC were first made informally aware of significant cost pressures on the project, which now has costs rising to £150m., as well as when the committee as a whole was made formally aware.

‘We need to know when this information first emerged,’ he said.

‘Rumours have been swirling for a little while now, but convention dictates that a matter of this magnitude should be the subject of a committee statement to the next sitting of the Assembly.’

Deputy Brouard briefed deputies about the rising costs on Monday, saying that they were as a result of more detailed designs.

‘The committee’s disclosure of it to members by email with an undertaking to give members a presentation out of the public’s sight is just not an adequate response,’ Deputy St Pier said.

‘Had this information been available to the States it could well have altered the decisions they took in October on the Funding and Investment Plan and in January on the Government Work Plan.’

In addition, Deputy St Pier is asking when HSC advised the Policy & Resources Committee of the cost pressures, as well as how frequently the committee is being updated on the development’s progress.

He also hopes to find out whether the scope or timing of delivery of the second phase could be changed as an option available within the agreed cost envelope.

Independent health panel CareWatch has also expressed concerns over the project’s spiralling costs.

Chairwoman Bella Farrell said that a conversation was needed about why costs had escalated.

‘We support HSC in the feeling that the needs of the community long-term need to be met with an upgrade,’ she said.

‘But we need transparency, and if costs are different now then it needs to go back to the States and be scrutinised by members.’