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Health Minister's exclusion review statement

26 May 2010

"We fully accept the recommendations made in the report and with support from the States Employment Board; I will be monitoring their implementation. In this regard, I am pleased to be able to say that all of the recommendations in this report have either already been implemented, or are in progress. None of the recommendations remain outstanding.

"However I would like to make these observations. Following the conclusion of the police investigation, the criminal trial and the Verita investigation, the consultant concerned was immediately returned to work.

"The circumstances of this case were difficult and complex for the following reasons. First and foremost, is the tragic death of a staff member. Secondly, there was a lengthy police investigation and subsequent criminal manslaughter trial. Finally, this was the first time that this complex disciplinary procedure for doctors had been used in Jersey and inevitably, lessons have been learned.

"All suspensions / exclusions are now reviewed on a monthly basis, throughout the States of Jersey, not just in the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD). This measure has brought more accountability in the management of these processes to ensure that periods away from work are kept to a minimum.

"HSSD has re-established links with Wessex and HSSD staff attend quarterly meetings. This has enabled access to a network of specialist medical staffing personnel and information. 

"We are organising a specialist training programme for relevant staff so that they will be appropriately skilled in the future to undertake their roles and responsibilities in line with the policy when required. 

"In the interests of patient safety all allegations or concerns raised, must be carefully considered and, if required, properly investigated to verify the facts. Suspension / exclusion from work is only used in the most exceptional of circumstances and the need for continued absence from work is frequently reviewed.

"The most important thing now is that staff can move on, having learned valuable lessons for the future should similar situations arise. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that responsible, hard working and dedicated staff work for HSSD. I fully support my staff and now want people to be able to move forward."

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