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HSC reassures as Deputy says States can't "magic away the problems"

HSC reassures as Deputy says States can't

Thursday 28 April 2022

HSC reassures as Deputy says States can't "magic away the problems"

Thursday 28 April 2022

Deputy Gavin St Pier said last night that he was "disappointed but unsurprised" when the States yesterday rejected his motion to debate a report about the regulation of doctors.

The report was on the States' order paper to be tabled without discussion. Deputy St Pier wanted a full debate on the report to bring out into the open the findings of an external investigation into the practices and behaviour of a doctor working locally. His motion to debate lost by 10 votes to 28 with one abstention.

The investigation followed shortcomings in services which affected families who have children with complex conditions and needs. The conclusion of the investigation was that no substantive concern was upheld against the doctor, but Deputy St Pier said it also uncovered "significant systemic and cultural issues of concern".

After his motion to debate the report was defeated, Deputy St Pier, pictured above (bottom), told Express: "That decision does not magic away the problems that have been identified.

"It is better to deal with these matters openly and transparently rather than attempt to do so behind closed doors. 

"The families involved have been extraordinarily patient and courteous in engaging with the health and social care system and complaints processes. It is vital to implement the substantive recommendations to rectify the failings identified by the independent expert brought in to investigate the families’ complaints."


Pictured: Deputy Gavin St Pier's defeated motion to debate a report on the regulation and revalidation of doctors followed his involvement with a group of families who have experienced difficulties with health services locally.

Deputy Al Brouard, the President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, sought to reassure islanders about the quality of health services and their openness to improvement through learning lessons. 

He said the investigation "concluded that there was no impairment to that doctor's medical practice".

"Let's be clear: there was no finding and quite simply the threshold was not reached," said Deputy Brouard, pictured above (top).

"Deputy St Pier’s assertion in the local media and in this [States'] chamber today that the doctor’s actions…did not quite reach the threshold for regulatory action is misleading and damaging to the individual involved.

"The recommendations that Deputy St Pier referred to in the States are included in a...report produced to ensure that appropriate learning was gathered and actioned following the complaints, which is normal in such circumstances.

"These recommendations relate to services as a whole and the Committee, working with the Medical Specialist Group, will continue to progress those recommendations. These largely relate to ensuring that the processes around safeguarding and safeguarding referrals are consistently applied for the benefit of children, which is something the Committee takes very seriously and can be challenging especially when there are differences of opinion between physicians and families."

Health & Social Care Committee

Pictured: The Committee for Health & Social Care.

Deputy St Pier said the families concerned were continuing to press for change and improvement in services. He said they "have written this week to the Acting Chief Executive of the States as head of the public service" and that they were "encouraged by his response". He said the Acting Chief Executive had assured the families that he would give the matters raised the attention and priority they deserved, look into them urgently and keep in contact with the families.

"We clearly need to allow him some time to do what he has said he will do. I hope the States will also now see fit to publish the reports," said Deputy St Pier.

"In the meantime, I would encourage any family who has concerns about their children’s treatment or how they have been treated if they have complained or sought a second opinion to engage with the complaints process and the Customer Care Team via the States' website.

"They can be assured that they are not alone and I’d be pleased to help support them through that process."


Pictured: Deputy Al Brouard said that health services in Guernsey were committed to continuous improvement and open to feedback from patients.

Deputy Brouard also encouraged public feedback on health care services. 

"The Customer Care Team is the first point of contact for service users to provide feedback about any service or treatment received from Health & Social Care or the Medical Specialist Group," said Deputy Brouard.

"We welcome service users’ views, positive and negative, about their experiences and are committed to ensuring that this feedback is used to bring about change and as an opportunity to improve the quality of services.

"Further information is available from www.gov.gg/customercarehsc."


States throw out Deputy's request to debate annual report on doctors 

Investigation into doctor could lead to States' debate

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