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Super-rich service to be used to attract nurses

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A SERVICE offered to the super-wealthy and high-ranking civil servants to ease their move to Jersey is to be rolled out for key workers such as nurses in an effort to attract more to the Island.

Rose Naylor

The one-stop service, which provides people new to the Island with information on everything from housing to social security, is due to be offered to key workers from March, it has emerged.

Chief nurse Rose Naylor said the States were also looking to offer new employees arriving in the Island temporary accommodation ‘until they find their feet’, as well as investigating how staff could access more affordable and longer-term leases, in a bid to boost the number of medical workers.

And she said work was also being undertaken to see how the States ‘can encourage and support staff to buy in Jersey’.

‘We’re looking at the outward-facing welcome to people who are looking to come to Jersey,’ she told the Mental Health Review Scrutiny Panel.

‘That piece of work is about a revised relocation package. [The service helps with] issues such as housing needs, whether they have got children, help them get their social security number. There will be a single point of contact.

‘We anticipate that will go live in March.’

Health Minister Richard Renouf told the panel that the service aimed to inform workers who were new to Jersey about the different rules and regulations in place in the Island compared to the UK.

‘The idea is to have someone explain the social-security system, education system and all the minutiae of life,’ he said.

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‘It is the sort of service offered to wealthy residents we bring in and high-level civil servants who are brought in. It is deservedly going to be offered to our key workers.’

The minister told the panel that a key priority for his team was to fill the large number of vacancies within the mental-health department.

‘The first thing to understand is that this is not particularly an Island problem,’ he said. ‘It’s a problem incurred across the NHS, from where we draw most of our staff.

‘That is particularly because there is an increased understanding of mental-health issues. People are seeking help where they might not otherwise have sought help. Also, there is the problem of the growing, older population.

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‘There does not seem to have been the resources put into mental-health nurses Europe-wide in the past, which means we are recruiting in a very limited pool.’

As well as trying to hire staff from outside the Island, Deputy Renouf said work was being undertaken to train mental-health nurses locally.

Currently five such nurses are being trained in Jersey but Ms Naylor said talks were ongoing with Guernsey to offer a course between the islands.

‘Our aim is to have a Channel Islands programme for 2020,’ she said.

Panel chairwoman Deputy Mary Le Hegarat, vice-chairman Deputy Kevin Pamplin and panel members Deputies Carina Alves and Trevor Pointon were sitting.

Krysta Eaves

By Krysta Eaves
author

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