HSSD – increased funding request

HSSD presented a policy letter to the States in July 2015, requesting funding for 3 areas: work required following the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Extraordinary review, recruitment and retention and finally children’s services. The NMC review arose following the very sad death of a baby in 2014 and concluded there were significant failings that gave serious cause of concern for patient safety. A series of recommendations were set out and the NMC made it clear that they would be monitoring progress over the next 12 months. Recruitment and retention relates to problems experienced not only on Guernsey but worldwide, in relation to the recruitment of nurses. The CEO of the States of Guernsey set up a taskforce to address the issue and a series of recommendations were provided for consideration by the Board. A review of children’s services, commissioned by the Board earlier in the year made it clear that there were major weaknesses that needed to be addressed and that, were Ofsted to review the service it would likely to give a ‘no assurance’ report.

The Board came to the States requesting £3.4m with reduced funding for later years. However, this was not about throwing money at a problem. The funding is needed to help towards the transformation of our health and social care services. This is no easy job and requires setting of key objectives and prioritisation if it is to be achieved. This is what I elaborated on in my speech during the debate.

The policy letter was approved by the States.



I believe the report makes it clear the challenges that face HSSD at this present moment in time. Let me rephrase that, this report gives a high level picture of the challenges that face HSSD at this time.


It is fair to say that a lot needs doing, but it is not possible to do everything at once. The setting of key objectives and prioritisation has been and continues to be essential. With that comes a need for discipline.

A scattergun approach to issues goes contrary to what we are aiming to do for the short, medium and long term transformation of HSSD. That does not mean that this should prevent early identification and mitigation of safety issues. Patient safety is paramount and whenever this has been raised as a concern it has been investigated.

A disjointed approach whereby work is done based on who shouts the loudest is not acceptable and will only makes matters worse, rather than better. That has been frustrating for each and every member of the Board, of course it has, but if any positive change is going to happen it is essential we remain focused.

I would also like to thanks our 2 non-States members, Dr Alex Christou and Mr Roger Allsopp for their contributions which have been knowledgeable, reasoned and measured over the last 9 months.

Those members who attended the presentation given by our Chief Officer earlier this year will be aware of the integrated programme of reform that has been developed for HSSD. A programme that focuses on doing the right thing for those we serve, in the right way, to achieve the right outcomes and deliver the right organisation.

The aim, of course, is better outcomes for service users, staff, taxpayers and the States of Guernsey as a whole.

The funding requests today related to children’s services, the workforce and secondary healthcare represent just 3 of those programmes.

The Costing, Benchmarking and Prioritisation exercise has been invaluable. It is not about cost cutting but transformation. For the first time we have real information with which we can make evidence-based decisions, in the short, medium and long term. But it is not going to be something that can be achieved overnight, as the Minister pointed out yesterday in response to Deputy Bebb. Neither can it be done without some upfront investment. How we manage that is for another day but what we are requesting today is the start of a journey.

I didn’t agree to join the HSSD Board lightly as the Minister I’m sure will attest to. It did take some persuasion.  I knew it was going to be a difficult job and it has certatinly proven to be so, in more ways than one. There is so much to do but already the Department has come a long way and for that a huge thanks must go to all those staff, within and across Departments who have already made a positive difference in what have been difficult circumstances.

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