HSC is debating the idea of buying old hotels for accommodation as it aims to combat worsening waiting lists and a lack of hospital beds.
The topic was one of many discussed during a Scrutiny Management Committee meeting, with the President of HSC, Al Brouard, answering questions alongside the Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink, and the PEH’s Medical Director, Dr Peter Rabey.
“There was a long discussion on waiting lists and bed availability and what the committee are doing about it,” said Scrutiny President, Deputy Yvonne Burford, reflecting on what her Committee had learnt during the hearing.
“They are looking at a lot of different interventions because of course it’s not just one issue, it’s accommodation for staff, its bed availability, its whether they can open up extra wards.”
The Princess Elizabeth Hospital is suffering from a shortage of beds, and some people waiting for elective operations are looking at years not months on waiting lists.
“They do seem to have looked at the problem in a wide-ranging way, even asking themselves whether they could buy old hotels for accommodation – it was quite good to have that put out into the public domain,” said Deputy Burford.
Pictured: 1,800 people are currently on the PEH’s waiting list for a variety of surgeries and procedures.
“We touched on preventative healthcare, because of course there is enormous scope to cut the cost of healthcare by conditions not occurring in the first place,” continued Deputy Burford.
However, when it comes to treatment many people don’t want to travel, so HSC is trying to avoid sending people off-island.
“It’s difficult to get treatment off island anyway, because there are backlogs elsewhere and they feel a lot of people don’t want to travel for their treatment and would rather have it here.”
The hearing then moved on to the position of Chief Nurse, or lack of it. The role hasn’t been filled since Juliet Beale left it last year.
HSC is conducting a pilot scheme, using four different heads of different areas to cover the strategic role, instead of employing a single Chief Nurse. The effectiveness of that will be reviewed "shortly".
“Scrutiny will be very keen to follow up on that and see what the outcomes are, because it is an issue that polarises opinion, especially within HSC," said Deputy Burford.
Pictured: “It was a very wide-ranging hearing from a committee with a very broad and highly budgeted mandate,” said Deputy Burford.
Deputy Burford and her Committee decided not to focus on covid, or any questions relating to the vaccination effort in the island.
However, at the end of the meeting, she did ask the Director of Public Health, Dr Brink, for comment on the rising cases in Guernsey.
There are now 205 active cases and five people in hospital, with Dr Brink expressing her concerns.
“[Dr Brink] said there is going to be a briefing [today at 13:00] with a particular emphasis on voluntary/non-pharmaceutical interventions,” said Deputy Burford.
“They are going to be looking to people to consider wearing masks in certain settings and increasing the use of lateral flow tests.
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