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Secondary healthcare report highlights “increasing demand for care”

Secondary healthcare report highlights “increasing demand for care”

Friday 23 February 2024

Secondary healthcare report highlights “increasing demand for care”

Friday 23 February 2024

The demand for healthcare in Guernsey continues to increase, with Health’s latest KPI report on secondary healthcare indicating inpatient admissions have climbed by more than a thousand between 2022 and 2023.

The KPI (Key Performance Indicator) report is published annually and gives the Committee of Health and Social Care a chance to assess how its partner, the Medical Specialist Group, has been doing in the face of increasing demand.

The latest document paints a picture of a secondary healthcare provider that continues to hit most of its targets while still struggling with reducing wait times. 

The timeframes set for appropriate wait times are being met for in-patient contracts 53% of the time, compared with the target of 95%. You can see a breakdown of wait times below: 


Part of the pressure comes from an influx in in-patient admissions, which increased by 1,142 patients (7.9%) between 2022 and 2023. 

There was also an increase in theatre activity and outpatient referrals. A spokesperson said this “highlights the increasing demand for care that HSC and the MSG must provide”. 

While radiology waiting times are on target, the challenging areas continue to be gastroenterology and orthopaedics.  

However, two waiting list initiatives launched last year have gone some way in alleviating this issue. A spokesperson said: “An extra 508 patients had an endoscopy as a result of HSC appointing Medinet to carry out nine weekend clinics during the summer. And we have seen an overall reduction of 22% in cancelled orthopaedic operations since we opened the de Haviland ward with its dedicated orthopaedic beds.” 


The findings of the KPI report have been welcomed by HSC’s Medical Director and the Chair of the MSG. 

“We cannot control demand for healthcare and there is no doubt that it will continue to increase as the population ages and more treatments become available,” said HSC’s Dr Peter Rabey. 

“We do not have infinite financial, staff, ward or theatre resources, but we have created additional capacity through our gastroenterology and orthopaedic waiting list initiatives, and this is helping to stem the tide. In the climate of ever-increasing demand, maintaining waiting lists at a stable level should arguably be viewed as a success story.” 

Dr Steve Evans, Chair of the MSG added: “While we continue to increase the number of patients we care for, there has been no adverse impact on the standards of care. 

“The average length of stay for a patient is just three days (against a target of less than six days) yet our emergency 3 readmission rate is as low as 7% (against a target of less than 10%) which means that we are not discharging patients before they are ready to go home. ‘I’m pleased that we achieved our target of 100% of annual appraisals being completed for our doctors. Independent and objective review is essential to ensuring that high professional standards are maintained.” 

Dr Evans (pictured top) said recruiting specialists continues to be a priority. 


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