09 April 2020
An historic agreement between the Government and GPs has been reached as health professionals come together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government has been working closely with the Island’s 13 GP practices, and now for the first time, more than a hundred GPs in Jersey are to be employed directly by Health and Community Services.
For the next four months GPs will work in a different way. They will be able to use their skills to:
- Sustain Primary Care services to support Out of Hospital Care where possible
- Work with Jersey’s ambulance service 24/7 to help treat patients in situ
- Work alongside hospital teams in the Emergency Department and Urgent Treatment Centre
- Provide enhanced support for Care Homes across the Island
- Provide resilience and expert skills to Health and Community Services
Commenting on the new agreement, Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf says: “This is a landmark agreement for our Island. Our shared priority is to save lives, so we have come together to ensure that Islanders can access health professionals as quickly as possible, at a time when health resources are needed most.
“For the next four months, all GPs will be directly employed by Health and Social Services. This will provide more resilience for the hospital, as GPs will be able to take shifts in the Emergency Department, and GPs with specialisms in diabetes or other conditions can cover for specialist colleagues in the hospital.
“This agreement gives Health and Community Services more capacity and more flexibility to adapt to changing needs and puts Jersey’s healthcare system in a stronger position to tackle COVID-19.”
There are 13 GP practices (some with branch surgeries) and around 106 GPs. All operate as independent businesses, although they have links to Health and Community Services through the primary care Medical Director, and to Social Security through the Health Insurance Fund. GPs are not currently paid a salary by the Government to see patients.
Dr Adrian Noon, Medical Director for primary care at Health and Community Services says: “This is a landmark agreement for GPs, Health and Community Services and most importantly for Islanders.
“The fast-moving coronavirus pandemic can seem daunting, but it gives us the opportunity to come together as one health system and offer the people of Jersey the best of health services at this unique time in our history. It also stabilises GP practices and brings skilled experts directly into Health and Community Services. We are pleased and proud to work with our GP colleagues.”
Deputy Renouf added: “This agreement gives Health and Community Services more capacity and more flexibility to adapt to changing needs and puts Jersey’s healthcare system in a stronger position to tackle COVID-19.
“The principles behind this change are in line with the new Jersey Care Model which I announced in October last year – an integrated health system that works better together for Islanders. This is a significant step forward in ensuring that we have a resilient health service which is prepared and able to save lives.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this together so swiftly, so we can make the most of the available skills and give Islanders the care they need in the right place at the right time in these unprecedented circumstances.”
In practice, this means that when Islanders want to make an appointment with a GP, they will need to call their GP surgery and cannot turn simply up. They will then be triaged to a telephone or video consultation, a face-to-face consultation, or a home visit, depending on their need as determined by the GP.
Should a patient have COVID-19 symptoms, their GP will assess whether they should self-manage by staying at home, go to the surgery, or be visited at home. GP surgeries will be split into ‘hot’ areas for those with COVID-19 symptoms, and ‘cold’ areas for those without.
Islanders will still be able to go to their ‘own’ GP surgery, but as the need for more COVID-19 treatment increases, they may have to be seen at a different surgery.
Out of hours GP services will still operate out of the out-patients department as usual.
- It is the decision of the GP as to where the patient will be seen (home or clinic) and we cannot guarantee that all home visit requests will be met after discussion with a clinician
- GPs will charge patients a reduced fee – approximately 50% less – which is being subsidised by government. At the end of the contract, the government subsidy will be ceased
- Patient fees have been temporarily changed. This is to support the Island response to COVID-19.
|Covid Response Team Home visit and All End of Life||Free|
General Practice consultations (including phone, video and nurse consultations)
|Children aged 0-4||Free|
|Children and young people 5-17||£10|
|All other consultations||£20|
|Repeat consultation on same issue within 72 hours||Free|
|Childhood immunisation ||Free|
|Repeat Prescription ||Free|
|Prescription collection/delivery service||Free|
|Letter of referral ||Free|