The Treasury Minister with the support of the Council of Ministers has approved extra funding of £1,758,000 for this year in order to provide immediate additional support to our Island’s health and social services, ahead of plans to re-design the service, as outlined in the recently launched White Paper. The monies have been allocated from central contingencies held by Treasury to meet pressures arising during the year.
This additional funding will allow the Health and Social Services Department to provide more “intermediate care” to Islanders. This is for people who do not need to be in hospital, but who need specialist care services in the community, and is sometimes referred to as “step up” and “step down” care. Increasing intermediate care in the community will help Islanders to be cared for in their own homes, and therefore reduce the time people need to spend in hospital. These measures are designed to provide more care at home particularly for older people earlier than previously planned.
The money being made available will also assist the Health and Social Services Department with the essential detailed planning needed for the future and the work that we need to continue to ensure that high-quality services are available now, such as recruiting and retaining more nurses.
Senator Philip Ozouf has worked closely with the Deputy Anne Pryke Minister for Health and Social Services and supports the Department’s plans for service redesign and improvement and the associated funding requirements. In particular, the Minister recognises the need for additional funding to be made available this year so that the Department can start work in priority areas.
Senator Ozouf said “The Council of Ministers fully supports the White Paper consultation process which is central to helping inform how our health and social services should be restructured. We also recognise that regardless of the outcome of that consultation process additional funding is needed now to support the set up of much needed community-based services.”
“It is important that, while we need to cut costs, we also need to invest in our essential, front line services now, and make sure they are fit for the future.”
Deputy Anne Pryke added “Last year we undertook a Green Paper consultation which identified a critical need to redesign our health and social services in order to ensure they would continue to be safe, sustainable and affordable. We have now just launched a White Paper consultation, asking the public what they think about our proposed changes in detail. Public feedback is essential to determining the shape of future services but, in the meantime, we need to tackle some mounting pressures, which this injection of funding will allow us to do”.
The White Paper consultation runs until Friday 20 July, and can be downloaded from www.gov.je/consult