A deputy has welcomed the return of a reviewer of Guernsey’s mental health services and says, while he was here, he listened “with great interest”.
David Gedze, a London-based mental health worker, completed a report of services in 2018. A summary of that report was published at the end of last year, the contents of which indicated services were adequate for Guernsey.
But many were exasperated at the findings of the report and argued that it did not reflect their experiences. The States of Guernsey subsequently announced that Mr Gedze would return to the island to speak with concerned parties and listen to their feedback.
Deputy Lester Queripel, who has longed called for an independent review into the mental health service, indicated to Express that a meeting between himself and Mr Gedze had been constructive.
“I did indeed meet up with him and relayed my ‘experiences’ of the system to him. He also listened to what I had to say with great interest and took note of everything I said,” stated Deputy Queripel.
Pictured: Mr Gedze's initial report concluded that Guernsey's mental health services are "in many ways good or better" than other jurisdictions.
Deputy Queripel heavily involves himself in case work, particularly with individuals who experience mental health issues.
“I suggested to all the people I’d been working with over the years, who had sought support from our mental health service, that they ask for a meeting with Mr Gedze," he said.
“That was the only opportunity they will have to relay, what they all referred to as ‘bad’ experiences and ‘unprofessional behaviour’ by some members of staff, to him."
Deputy Queripel said that eight of the 25 people he has worked with reported they had visited Mr Gedze upon his return to the island, and that their feedback was also listened to “with great interest”.
“Therefore I, like many of my fellow islanders, await the ‘follow up’ report and can only hope that it contains recommendations that seek to address the issues that have been raised with by fellow islanders over the years, and also the issues I have witnessed,” concluded Deputy Queripel.
The Committee for Health & Social Care will decide whether to hold a further review into mental health services before the end of the year.
The Committee is also expected to publish an update relating to the return of Mr Gedze within the coming days.
Pictured (top): Deputy Lester Queripel.
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