07 July 2016
The Health and Social Services Minister, Senator Andrew Green, has issued the following statement.
"I have considered the Complaints Board report issued on 1 July and now wish to respond. Reference is made to a number of procedural concerns related to the case of Mr Alwitry in 2012.
"I acknowledge that, at the time, there were areas in which improvement was needed. Work to give effect to these changes began in 2012 and is subject to continuous improvement and review.
"However, I would also add that none of these issues alter my view that in the case of Mr Alwitry’s appointment, the right decision was made and for the right reasons.
"The Hospital’s new managing director took up her role at the start of 2013 and, building on the work that began in the latter part of 2012, with her team she has undertaken extensive work on strengthening our processes. This covers recruitment policy and procedures, training and record-keeping.
"For example, since 2013, we have successfully recruited 21 new consultants. These new appointments were made in line with an extremely robust procedure that has attracted positive comment from both successful and unsuccessful applicants, as well as from Royal Colleges and other professional bodies.
"The 21 new appointments have included two new consultant ophthalmologists, while a third ophthalmology appointment has been made, with the successful candidate due to take up their post in August 2016.
"In conclusion, I am concerned that the terms of reference have vastly expanded without the opportunity for officers to provide the appropriate evidence for the new areas under review. Regrettably, staff have had their integrity and their honesty called into question in a public document, without any opportunity to put forward the facts of the case as they were at the time.
"I confirm that the staff work for the best interests of patients in Jersey, have done for many years, and will continue to do so. For that reason they have my support."