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HSC faces questions over latest nationalisation in health care

HSC faces questions over latest nationalisation in health care

Thursday 08 December 2022

HSC faces questions over latest nationalisation in health care

Thursday 08 December 2022

Deputy Gavin St. Pier has tabled Rule 11 questions about the States' takeover of St. John's Residential Home.

He wants to know the financial risk which taxpayers will take on when the Home at Saumarez Park is nationalised on 1 January.

He also wants to know whether staff at the Home will become employees of the States and move to standard public sector terms and conditions, including pensions, or remain employed at arm's length from government.

Deputy St. Pier will put his questions to the President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, Deputy Al Brouard, at next week's States' meeting.


Pictured: More information will be requested about the effects of the States nationalising another health and social care operation in the Bailiwick. 

"I know the St. John's Residential Home has been struggling for a while," said Deputy St. Pier.

"Like the recent decision to take over Alderney's primary care services, this takeover was no doubt essential to ensure the Home's survival and continuity of care for its residents.

"But both deals are examples of the creeping enlargement of government.  

"It can be assumed that if the private sector could make sufficient return there would have been no reason for government intervention, so taxpayers need to understand the extent to which they are on the hook for the costs of these takeovers.  

"These [Rule 11] questions are a first stab at getting that information." 

Gavin St Pier

Pictured: Deputy Gavin St. Pier, who has tabled the Rule 11 questions for next week's States' meeting.

Concerns about St. John's Residential Home were first raised publicly by Deputy Lyndon Trott at the most-recent States' meeting on 23 November.

He said he had been informed of "significant issues" at the Home, including in relation to equipment.

"St. John's Residential Home at Saumarez Park, I'm told, has had an unfunctional lift for over two months," said Deputy Trott at the States' meeting.

"As a consequence, many residents are having to live, due to mobility issues, exclusively on the ground floor.

"I shall not be going into any details into what difficulties this causes, but apparently it is significant," he said.

Deputy Lyndon Trott

Pictured: Deputy Lyndon Trott raised concerns about St. John's Residential Home in the States' Assembly two weeks ago.

When the States' takeover of the Home was announced on Tuesday, Deputy Brouard said: "It is rare that an issue generates the widespread support of three different political committees, but the decision to take over the running of St. John's Residential Home, to secure its long-term operations, was one such example.

"It is a well-established fact that the island needs good-quality care homes and increasingly so in the years ahead.

"This agreement ensures a continuation of care for residents, security for staff and maintains an important residential home for the community as a whole."

The States said that "very little will change" for the Home's staff, residents and their families.

Deputy Al Brouard

Pictured: Deputy Al Brouard, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care.

Deputy St. Pier also said the States' takeover of St. John's Residential Home was another reminder of the insecurities surrounding the island's system for funding residential and nursing beds.

"What the takeover really speaks to are wider pressures in the care sector which require reform of long-term care funding," he said.

Multiple reports have identified a string of concerns about long-term care funding, including the cost of beds to residents, the financial viability of residential and nursing homes and the health of the Committee for Employment & Social Security's long-term care insurance scheme, which partially funds the sector. 

"It's now clear that those reforms cannot be delayed any further," said Deputy St. Pier.


Pictured: There are several unresolved issues about how the island can afford long-term residential and nursing care as the elderly population grows in the years ahead.

St. John's Residential Home was originally a private house.

St. John Ambulance started to use it as a home for the elderly after the Second World War.

Responsibility for the Home eventually passed to a board of management unconnected to St. John Ambulance. 

Pictured (top): St. John's Residential Home (inset) in the grounds of Saumarez Park. 


States take over St. John's Residential Home

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