THE government has said it is ‘very much committed’ to continuing its partnership with Les Amis, despite withdrawing support for the charity’s transformation of the former Hampshire Hotel into specialist homes for people with disabilities.
Les Amis announced this week that a new government report indicated that the Maison des Amis development – which received Planning approval in November – was now too large for the Island’s predicted future needs.
According to the charity, as a result of the report, the government said it was unable to commit to commissioning the services expected to be delivered at Maison des Amis.
The facility had been due to be built at the Hampshire Hotel, which was purchased by the charity for £3.3 million.
Without this commitment and in the face of rising costs and pressures on the local construction industry, the charity’s board of directors and trustees agreed that ‘the financial risk is too high to justify continuing the development at this time’.
The board described the decision to halt the development as a ‘difficult’ one.
Explaining the government’s decision, director of mental health and adult social care Andy Weir said that ‘no previous commitment for future commissioning had been given’.
He added: ‘Over recent months, the government has been working jointly with Les Amis to review the proposed service model with reference to the current and future needs of people with a learning disability in Jersey.
‘It is important that we commission sustainable future models of care that will meet the needs of the population, and maximise the independence, involvement and choice of people who use services.’
Mr Weir continued: ‘Although the government was aware of the proposed development, no previous commitment for future commissioning had been given at this point.
‘We are very much committed to continuing this work in partnership with Les Amis to develop future provision of services, ensuring that these meet the specific health- and social-care needs for our learning-disability population.’