A tri-Island meeting of Health and Social Services Ministers and Chief Officers was held on Friday 13 March, focussing on how the three jurisdictions – Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey – might better support and challenge each other in the delivery of high quality, integrated and financially sustainable health and social care.
Hosted by Jersey's Department of Health and Social Services, the meeting focussed on a number of areas of common interest including: the development of cost effective, preventive services; improved safeguarding of children and adults at risk; regulation of health and social care; commissioning of services and benchmarking performance.
Jersey's Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green, said: "I was delighted to welcome my Ministerial colleagues and their senior officers from Guernsey and the Isle of Man. We operate similar departmental structures founded on a common vision to deliver integrated health and social care to all Islanders. We also share the unique opportunities and challenges that being a small, Island, jurisdiction brings.
Needs of aging populations
"We are all seeking to redesign our health and social care systems so that we can meet the needs of our ageing populations in affordable and effective ways. Establishing formal and informal ways of working together, therefore, is a sensible and necessary step in the right direction."
The Isle of Man's Minister for Health and Social Care, The Honourable Howard Quayle,said: "Discussions with our Guernsey and Jersey colleagues were frank, wide-ranging and positively framed in that we want to work together. In the Isle of Man, we are looking at different design models for our future health and social care system. I am especially interested in the different funding mechanisms used in the two Channel Island jurisdictions.
Performance of services
“It is clear that in areas such as public health, we share similar challenges and that there is potential to work together in a more systematic way. Equally, I think there is an opportunity to benchmark the performance of health and social services across the three jurisdictions as this will enable us to identify where best practice exists (and to learn from that) as well as assist our improvement agenda where we know our performance is not yet good enough."
Guernsey's Minister of Health and Social Services Deputy Paul Luxon said: "Guernsey's health and social services also face an improvement and sustainability agenda – and it was helpful to understand a little of Jersey's and the Isle of Man's common issues. As a result, we have tasked our Chief Officers to develop detailed proposals for how we might work together in a number of key areas including: commissioning; the regulation of health and social care; public health; and performance management.
“We have agreed to come back together later this year to discuss these proposals and to agree how we might formalise joint working arrangements."