Planning activity around the new Dunedin hospital has moved up a gear with the first part of the detailed business case now nearing completion.

The Southern Partnership Group which oversees the project held an extended meeting earlier in the week where, according to convenor Pete Hodgson, ‘some serious progress’ was made.

‘The detailed business case is complex and multifaceted. It has involved many months of discussion and analysis to date. Extensive reports are the end result.

"Many of the key ingredients of the business case are now approaching completion. It is our hope that we will draw a line under the first part of the business case in the next month. The components of this first part of the business case are referred to as the strategic case, the economic case, the commercial case, the management case and the financial case.

"Beneath those lie another layer of detail. It is important to sort the detail accurately now. When it comes time to design the hospital itself, the project’s main architects can rely on the work done to date, and draw up wards that make sense.’

"The assumptions in the detailed business case have recently been tested, again, in a series of meetings with hospital staff. This has resulted in some further valuable refinements, but as the months pass the changes are starting to become modest."

Mr Hodgson confirmed that the documents will all be made public in due course and that the project remains on time.

‘The second half of the business case involves master site planning and so-called concept planning.

"That could not get underway until the site was known. Even now it awaits the appointment of the all-important architecture contract, due later this year, although some very early work has started already.

"At the conclusion of the second stage of the detailed business case we will know how many blocks we will have, where they will be, and how high they will be."

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