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Millions spent by HSC to combat covid

Millions spent by HSC to combat covid

Tuesday 01 September 2020

Millions spent by HSC to combat covid

Health & Social Care spent an extra £3.7million in the first six months of the year, in its attempt to combat corona virus.

The committee's preparations began back in January and included buying personal protective equipment, setting up testing facilities and paying additional staff to help.

HSC has now released a rundown of its expenditure from January to June:

  • £1m on PPE, including six months' forward stock

  • £200,000 on reagents for the testing equipment

  • £1m to fund support from primary care

  • £645,000 on essential pay costs, such as agency and bank staff and overtime

  • £200,000 on emergency works by the HSC Estates Team, including the 'hot ICU'

  • £526,000 on testing equipment for the pathology lab

Deputy Heidi Soulsby

Pictured: HSC President Deputy Heidi Soulsby.

"A spend of nearly £4m on covid-19 related costs for HSC is a considerable amount - particularly when it was unforeseen and, therefore, not budgeted," said President of HSC, Deputy Heidi Soulsby. "However, it is important to note that purchasing of the testing equipment which enabled testing on island reduced the costs of molecular (swab) testing SARS-CoV-19."

Rather than going for a newly-built field hospital - like Jersey's £14.4m Nightingale Hospital - the States focussed on building on the island's current facilities.

"It was decided not to invest in a Nightingale Hospital whilst the impact was based on theoretical modelling, and before on-island testing was established," Deputy Soulsby continued.

"The States of Guernsey decided to accommodate any potential increase in patient numbers by establishing plans for temporary extensions to the hospital building on the PEH campus."

A&E ED emergency department hospital peh

Pictured: The Princess Elizabeth Hospital was temporarily adapted to deal with the covid demand.

The next phase of Guernsey's exit from lockdown is also expected to cost HSC around £4m, which will go towards upping the island's testing capacity. However, no date has been set for the move to Phase 5c yet.

Excluding the unexpected covid-19 costs, HSC is currently forecasting a general underspend of its budgeted allocation for 2020.

Pictured top: Guernsey's covid-19 testing facilities.

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