Minister to reconsider future split of hospital and community services

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THE Health Minister will reconsider the design of the new hospital following yesterday’s publication of a ministerial review of the controversial Jersey Care Model.

Although the review supports the policy of moving a number of services from the Hospital into the community, Deputy Karen Wilson said her department would now ‘look very hard’ at how those services needed to be organised and how they could be delivered in the safest and most cost-effective way.

She described the appearance of the review ­– which found that almost a third of the services provided under the model needed to be ‘adapted’ to ensure that they supported the drive for ‘safe, high-quality patient care’ – as ‘timely’.

‘What’s critical now… is that we have to review what goes in [the hospital] and what is going to be in the community. [The ministerial review] will make us look very hard at how services need to be organised and what is the most safe and cost-effective way in which we can do them.

‘There is always innovation in care that is coming to the fore, and we must be ready to bite into those innovations in ways which deliver better care for Islanders in terms of their access,’ she said.

Deputy Wilson said that the review confirmed the importance of care in the community

But the minister said she could no longer guarantee the extent of the savings forecast when the States adopted the care model, at which point the projection was to be in the region of £209 million by 2036.

‘We don’t really have that kind of assurance to say that is the case,’ she said. ‘Nobody predicted that there was going to be a pandemic in the middle of it and I also think that because we’ve had some delays in the ways the system was intended to operate, there needs to be a recasting of the financial model. I want to get some further assurance to make sure we are in a position to say what savings we are able to see.’

Although Deputy Wilson said that the review confirmed the importance of care in the community, she said that the government would abandon the controversial ‘Jersey Care Model’ badge which she said had not conveyed the initiative’s intentions to the public.

‘The problem with the Jersey Care Model name was that people just couldn’t see how it was going to operate and how it was going to fit together. I hope that what I’ve been able to do through the report is to show Islanders that it means that we have to have a broad range of provision of services to be able to help people make the journey from illness to wellness, and in that regard not everything needs to take place in the Hospital. But we need to build up the community capacity and I don’t think that was well described,’ she said.

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