Save Our Shoreline Jersey produces a new report – ‘The Importance of Air Quality in Hospitals’ and looks at the viability of building our new General Hospital on a large vacant site on the Waterfront.
SOSJ’s Terms of Reference, as laid down on our formation in 1993, included air quality as well as water quality on our south and south-east coast, and also to monitor development on the Waterfront. 20 years on, having fought hard with various authorities, winning some battles and losing others, we turn our attention to the inappropriate development of our Waterfront over the past 2 decades, and how best to utilise the rest of the land.
Our current hospital is nearing the time where it will not be fit for purpose. Its current location is in an area of high traffic, where patients are often unable to open the windows for fresh air. Air quality in hospitals is of critical importance for all staff, patients and visitors for a number of reasons.
Our Air Quality Report deals with the importance of heating, air conditioning, infection-control, ventilation systems, bacterial and viral infection and cross-contamination. The report covers nearby emissions and air quality in the area, and in particular focuses on how hospital environments can influence patient recovery. Click here to download.
We propose that priority should be given to reviewing the possibility of setting aside the (now shelved) Zephyrus site, designated as 5 blocks of 6 floor apartments by (the now defunct) Waterfront Enterprise Board, and to also use part of the Esplanade Quarter, for a prestige, state of the art General Hospital which would include restful enclosed gardens. This would be centrally located and capable not only of providing first class care to its ever growing local population in an economically efficient manner, but also providing a facility which would attract highly qualified medical staff.
Such a development on land already owned by the public is financially attractive since it would largely offset the need to sell the family silver to partly finance the project whilst freeing up for redevelopment the valuable site of the existing General Hospital.
The current investigations into the feasibility of modernising our existing outdated hospital complex are all well and good, but there are a number of sound social, health and financial reasons that make the building of the new hospital on the Waterfront a realistic option. Where better for patients to recuperate and medical staff to work than in a stress relieving environment with a marine outlook? Currently the air quality around the hospital is extremely poor. The sound levels from the Parade and the three lane traffic in Gloucester street are high and not conducive to the well being of patients or of the working environment for our medical and ancillary staff. The building is old and renovations will be intrusive, noisy and costly.
SOSJ’s interest in the Waterfront includes the desire, especially at this time of economic uncertainty, to prioritise the use of community land for the known health needs of its current and future population above finance and/or speculative ones. This is publicly owned land and should be used for the benefit of the community.