Jersey's Health Minister apologises for falling short over rehab services

  • Report by ITV Channel's Alex Spiceley

Jersey's government admits that it has fallen short in delivering rehab for islanders.

There have been a number of complaints about the service at the Plemont Ward in the General Hospital, which provides support to those who have suffered strokes and other neurological conditions.

The island's Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf said: "We haven't delivered care in some cases to the standards we would have wished to and we'd want to apologise to those patients.

"So we want to learn, we are improving, we have made improvements already and we've got a programme to continue those improvements, both to the environment and to the services."

The Medical Director and Chief Nurse wrote an open letter to States members, calling for the rehab services to be reviewed, saying " that simply moving this service back to its original site at Overdale would be a mistake."

Pam Evans had a stroke on her 67th birthday and credits her recovery to the staff on Samarès Ward.

Pam Evans had a stroke on her 67th birthday. Credit: ITV Channel TV

She explains: "It's traumatic. You're rendered disabled, it's like a flash of lightning.

"I could cry, I could really cry. I feel so saddened at the deterioration, at the complete retrograde step that the States have taken over this. We've gone from a first-class facility to a very unacceptable facility."

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When the unit was moved to the General Hospital it went from 28 beds to 14 and some facilities were no longer available - including an area set up like a home environment to help islanders preparing to leave hospital and a dining hall for them to socialise.

Senator Steve Pallett has put forward a proposition calling for the dedicated facilities which were offered at Samarès Ward, based at Overdale, to be available by the beginning of March - with the promise of new facilities as part of any future hospital which is built there.

In the proposition he says, "it seems that the leadership in HCS (Health and Community Services) too often believes that second best will do; I suggest that islanders are not prepared to accept second best when it comes to family members recovering from an accident or serious illness and want the best for their loved ones.

"If we accept this current situation, I believe we are shirking our responsibility to those who elected us. We need Samarès Ward now, an interim facility while the Our Hospital is being built (which looks unlikely to be before 2023) and a new Samarès Ward on the Overdale Our Hospital medical campus."