In 2011 the Health and Social Services Department published Caring for each other, Caring for ourselves, clearly setting out the challenges Jersey faces in relation to the future of our health and social care services. Challenges that include; a rapidly aging population; growing demand for services; spiralling costs; the difficulties of recruiting staff to replace those who are retiring, plus buildings and facilities in need of significant financial investment – not least the need for a new hospital in the next ten years.
Caring for each other, Caring for ourselves set out 3 different scenarios, asking Islanders whether they thought our services should remain the same – with or without additional investment – or whether change was required. 86% of those who responded supported change, recognising that Jersey needs a new more sustainable model of health and social care. Islanders want services that “wrap” around the individual, that are delivered in the community – not just the hospital or institutions – and that ensure people get the right care, from the right person at the right time.
The responses to Caring for each other, caring for ourselves, were analysed by Involve, an independent organisation which specialises in public consultation. Their report summarising the public feedback found that Islanders:
• want to be able to live in their own home for as long as possible with the right services in place to support them (93% of respondents)
• are happy to see a nurse, a pharmacist or other care professional rather than a hospital doctor for minor procedures (90%)
• believe as much attention should to be paid to mental health as to physical health (90%)
• agree they would be less like to go to the Hospital Emergency Department with a minor condition if they had to pay, and more likely to go to the GP (66%)
• think people have a responsibility to look after their own health (73% of respondents ) but are divided over whether those who fail to care for themselves should pay more for some services (approximately 50% believe they should and 50% do not).
The Involve report, which is available from www.gov.je, is being published ahead of the Health and Social Services Department’s White Paper. The White Paper, which will be launched at the end of May, will provide detailed information about the proposed redesign of our health and social care system. It will reflect what the public and professionals have said needs to happen if our services are to be fit for the future.