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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Independent Health Board to be established in response to hospital review

26 August 2022

The Government is to establish an independent health board in response to a review which found serious issues of governance at the hospital.

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson, ordered plans to be developed for the new board after an independent review of the hospital identified serious concerns and made sixty-one recommendations to improve care and governance.

The Minister said: "Islanders will rightly expect that, as the new Minister for Health and Social Services, I will ensure that urgent, clear and, direct action is taken to address the report's recommendations.  Our health service must become an exemplar of safe and effective care, be of good quality, and its performance accounted for in an open and transparent way.

"In light of this, I will bring forward plans to establish an independent health board, including experts in health care provision, to drive reform, improve governance and address the cultural, structural and practice issues affecting the quality and safety of the care provided.

"Alongside that Board, I will strengthen policy functions to determine government policy across the whole health system."

The Minister ordered an immediate turn-around plan to be developed for the hospital while the new board is established. She undertook to order a follow-up review in one year's time to track progress.

An independent review of clinical governance at the hospital found: "All the people and patients of Jersey, irrespective of their individual financial circumstances, need and deserve high quality, safe healthcare…Sadly, it is not possible to conclude that this is the current situation.

"The Government of Jersey, on behalf of the people of Jersey, must demand this service from Health and Community Services and its employees, and publicly and assertively support the organisation in achieving it."

The review was commissioned in 2021 by the Director General for Health and Community Services at the request of the Medical Director and Chief Nurse and carried out by Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor.

A former chief of medical staff at Mount Zion Hospital (UCSF) in San Francisco and senior clinical lecturer at Leeds University, Prof Mascie-Taylor has served on major health reviews in the UK and around the world.

The Chief Executive Officer, Suzanne Wylie, said: "The findings of Hugo Massie Taylor's review, clearly articulate the need for a step change in clinical quality, safety and governance in hospital care. There is no doubt that good quality health services are a priority for Islanders and that the many issues raised need to be addressed urgently and comprehensively.

"As Head of the Public Service, I have been tasked by the Minister for Health to oversee the development of a clear turn-around plan by the end of September 2022.  The work on this plan will begin forthwith and will include arrangements for clinical resourcing, leadership and accountability.  

"As the report says, these problems are not new, they date back many years, and not only relate to governance, standards and accountability but also to internal cultures.  These are significant challenges, which will require sustainable support from the whole of government, the HCS leadership and clinical teams and the workforce in general.  A fundamental element to driving improved assurance, standards and quality will be the establishment of the Independent Board, recommended in the report and confirmed by the Minister as a priority."

Caroline Landon, Director General for Health and Community Services, said: "I commissioned this review to ensure clear and full understanding of what needs to be done to improve the Department's quality, safety and governance arrangements. Professor Mascie-Taylor's report does that. It sets out the extent of the challenge, and the necessary action required.

"I want to thank those colleagues who participated in the review. Their willingness to be frank and open and freely give their views, even when doing so meant highlighting poor practice in some of their services, took courage.

"Now that the report is published, and the issues are known, we can set about improving our clinical governance arrangements in order to advance the quality and safety of our services."


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