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HSC wants to agree terms soon for mental health review follow-up

HSC wants to agree terms soon for mental health review follow-up

Tuesday 04 January 2022

HSC wants to agree terms soon for mental health review follow-up

Tuesday 04 January 2022


Patients and staff will be able to speak to the man who said that Guernsey’s mental health services are among the best in the world when he returns to the island for a follow-up review this year.

Deputy Al Brouard, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, said that David Gedze, an independent social worker from the UK, “will have the opportunity to meet with third sector organisations with an interest in mental health and wellbeing, existing service users and service-user groups”.

However, the terms and timeline of Mr Gedze’s follow-up visit have not yet been disclosed.

“A defined scope of work is required to ensure that this will deliver against the Committee’s aspirations and it is hoped that this can be agreed with Mr Gedze early in the New Year,” said Deputy Broaurd, pictured top.

He was responding to written questions from by Deputy Gavin St. Pier. The questions were asked in light of the recent publication of a summary of a report on mental health services written by Mr Gedze after he visited the island in 2018.

Deputy Gavin St Pier

Pictured: Deputy Gavin St. Pier wants the Committee for Health & Social Care to include present and former staff as well as patients in a review of mental health services which it plans to organise in 2022. 

The summary provided a glowing endorsement of mental health services. In the summary, Mr Gedze said that “Guernsey has good mental health services, which in many ways are as good or better than those in most countries in the world”.

Mr Gedze’s full report has not been published.

When the summary report was published in November, some deputies voiced concerns that it did not reflect experiences of mental health services which had been drawn to their attention by patients and present or former staff.

At that time, Deputy Brouard said that “in the spirit of ongoing continuous improvement, Mr Gedze has been asked to visit the island in the New Year for further professional dialogue with staff working in this area”.

Deputy St. Pier asked the Committee for Health & Social Care whether Mr Gedze would also have the opportunity to meet patients and their representatives as well as former staff with recent experience of mental health services.

Deputy Brouard agreed that Mr Gedze should meet patients and their representatives but gave no undertaking that he would be able to meet former staff.

Mental_health_group.jpg

Pictured: The Committee for Health & Social Care agrees that a follow-up review of mental health services should take into account the views of patients but has not yet confirmed whether former staff will be involved. 

“Yes – Mr Gedze will have the opportunity to meet with third sector organisations with an interest in mental health and wellbeing, existing service users and service-user groups,” said Deputy Broaurd.

“The Committee is very keen to ensure that any further work presents a rounded picture of the service, picking up areas for improvement as well as considering the progress made since the 2018 review.

“However, the Committee has not yet had the opportunity to agree the details of this further work with Mr Gedze to determine how this can best be achieved, the associated practical arrangements and if and how this may take into account the views of former staff."

Deputy St. Pier said he was encouraged to hear that Mr Gedze’s follow-up review will consider the views of service users.

“There seems to be a mismatch between the summary report and some of the more recent lived experiences of some of those using mental health services,” said Deputy St. Pier.

“Hopefully, Mr Gedze can get to understand and reconcile that mismatch by talking to those who use the services and have concerns.

“One loose end is whether or not Mr Gedze might also get to chat with any former staff who have left the service recently. I hope that the Committee will encourage this. Whilst any comments ex-employees may have will need to be treated with care, it may be useful if it can help identify any patterns for staff leaving or other shared concerns.”

Deputy Lester Queripel

Pictured: Deputy Lester Queripel has criticised what he says is a lack of transparency around the most recent review of mental health services.

Deputy Lester Queripel has said that publication of Mr Gedze’s summary report only – rather than the full original report – was not sufficiently transparent.

“The Committee for Health & Social Care appears to have addressed all of the recommendations made by Mr Gedze. But of course the community has no way of knowing if that had resulted in the level of improvement he was focusing on when he made those recommendations,” said Deputy Queripel.

“The only way to establish that would be by undertaking the comprehensive review by a non-biased independent body for which I’ve been calling for several months now”.

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