Jersey hospital 'may not cope' with pandemic

Jersey general hospital
Image caption Deputy Pryke said she would look to find an temporary solution while a new hospital is built

Hospital managers in Jersey are worried they may not be able cope with a serious outbreak of illness over the winter.

Officials from the Health Department said Jersey needed a new hospital.

Hospital Manager Andrew McLaughlin said wards were already full and a temporary solution was needed because there would not be enough beds.

Health Minister Deputy Anne Pryke said the number of beds would be increased to help the hospital cope.

Mr McLaughlin, who is coming to the end of his interim contract, said the island should have made the decision to build a new hospital 10 years ago.

'Pressure is on'

He said he was worried there would not be enough beds if there was a serious outbreak.

Deputy Pryke said it could be up to 10 years before a new hospital was open.

She said: "The pressure is on us today so we need to put in place some sort of plan to ensure our hospital can cope in those interim years."

Deputy Kristina Moore, who is leading a review of plans for health spending, said the situation was worrying.

She said: "There was talk about an intermediate solution being found.

"What about a pandemic this winter, where will they go?

"We don't have a building that is fit for purpose. We better hope we have a mild winter and people stay healthy - which is a big concern."

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