Consultants appointed

The Australasian consulting firm whose controversial report upset senior Dunedin research clinicians recently has been chosen to run the next big stage of the Dunedin Hospital redevelopment project.Sapere Research Group will write the "indicative business case'' for the $300million project.

The announcement follows two Ministry of Health tender processes.

A second contract, for hospital services and architecture planning, has been awarded to a consortium of three companies - Jacobs, CCM Architects, and Johnstaff.

Johnstaff is an Australian project advisory firm, CCM Architects is a Wellington-based architecture firm, and Jacobs is a multinational engineering consulting firm.

In a press release, Southern Partnership Group chairman Andrew Blair said the consortium had extensive expertise in hospital planning in New Zealand and Australia.

"Jacobs and Johnstaff will provide hospital services planning and CCM Architects will translate these into architectural sketches for the indicative business case.''

The indicative business case would shortlist options by the middle of 2017.

"We are working to an ambitious timeframe, so having the architectural health planners and business case writer lined up and ready to go ensures there won't be a delay between the strategic assessment phase winding down and the business case phase winding up,'' Mr Blair said.

Sapere was earlier awarded a strategic planning contract, and its report outlining the early direction of the redevelopment ruffled feathers at the Dunedin School of Medicine.

The report suggested clinical research was a burden on Dunedin Hospital, tying up resources at the tertiary hospital at the expense of the wider region.

Mr Blair said he had heard "robust feedback'' on the plan on a visit to Dunedin last month.

"I'm pleased to have heard robust feedback ... as it means stakeholders are engaged and committed to helping us deliver enduring hospital services for the Southern region.''

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