12 October 2018
People moving to Jersey to take on essential roles, such as doctors, nurses and social workers, will be moving into new key worker accommodation next month.
The former Convent Court in Val Plaisant is being renovated to provide 73 homes. 48 two-bedroom and studio apartments are being made available to enable government to offer good quality temporary homes to short-term, licensed professionals contracted to deliver essential services in Jersey. The remaining homes will be offered to residents who need to move to allow the refurbishment of Hue Court, which is the next high-rise on Andium’s capital programme.
Departments from across the States have worked with Andium Homes on the initiative, which reflects the Council of Ministers’ ambitions to reduce income inequality, improve the standard of living and put children first.
Senator Sam Mézec, Minister for Children and Housing said: “I am pleased that the States of Jersey and Andium Homes are making progress on improving the offer for key workers in our public services to provide them with better quality accommodation. The Care Inquiry and Care Commission reports made clear that we need to improve recruitment and retention in this area, and this demonstrates our commitment to fulfilling their recommendations.”
The first workers to occupy the new accommodation will be doctors who were living at hospital accommodation at Westaway Court. Westaway Court and Peter Crill House are used as temporary homes for many locum and agency workers for Health and Community Services, and for Children, Young People, Education and Skills. Both properties are in poor condition and are due to be demolished as part of the Future Hospital project.
Assistant Chief Minister, Connétable Christopher Taylor, signed a ministerial decision this week confirming a temporary change in the housing category for Convent Court, which will be known as Plaisant Court on completion. Connétable Taylor said: “This initiative, which is in line with this government’s strategic priorities, is really good news for our Island. People who come to the Island in crucial roles to deliver health, community and social services for Island residents will now have the option of good quality, fairly priced homes.”
The high turnover of staff in some areas of teaching, and health and social care, has been a cause for concern in Jersey and the cost and quality of accommodation has been cited as one of the factors contributing to it. This initiative will help Jersey to attract and retain high-quality professional workers.
Richard Renouf, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We value our staff, and the specialist skills they bring with them to Jersey. We want to provide them with high quality, comfortable accommodation that meets their needs. I am delighted that the first workers to occupy the new key worker accommodation will be doctors who were living at Westaway Court. This is a great joint project, and my ministerial team and I are very pleased to see it come to fruition. I’d like to thank everyone involved for making it a success.”
Frank Walker OBE, Chairman of Andium Homes said “We are pleased to have helped with a solution for key workers at Plaisant Court. The homes have been refurbished to a high standard and will provide much better accommodation than that which was previously available to these essential employees.”