THE GENERAL HOSPITAL
The fiasco on securing a new hospital and the money spent thus far, has demonstrated Jersey politics at its worst. Whilst we could spend an exhorbitant amount of time detailing the many flaws in the process, we must now learn from these mistakes, draw a line and work towards securing the 'Right' site.
The two sites which appear to be able deliver this are Overdale and Warwick Farm. I personally believe that Overdale is the more suitable of the two sites, however, there are merits for both:
Overdale and Warwick Farm are already owned by the States of Jersey so there would be no requirement to compulsory purchase any property or land. The sites are both significantly bigger in size so are able to accommodate all the services we need, whilst future proofing for our growing population. There would be no risk to patient care and staff working environment whilst the construction takes place. The build itself would be simpler as we would not face the same issues as building on the current hospital site.
It is imperative that consultation with clinical staff, at all levels of design and implementation, assist and support the decisions of the services we need 'In' the new hospital. This is to ensure everyone's needs are met, staff and patients alike. Facilities will be future proofed. The new Hospital will then be able to attract the very best medical staff to the Island and encourage our home grown talent to want to stay and work within Jersey's medical professions.
But it's not just about the new Hospital. We need to make sure that the Government of Jersey has a joined up and well thought out health strategy for the future of our island.
My mother, who worked as a staff nurse for over fifty years, thirty of those at the Jersey General Hospital, has seen the decline in health services due to underfunding and health employees who are overworked and understaffed. Health care staff are unsung heroes and cannot be taken for granted and why I am passionate about our healthcare system.
It is crucial that you have your say so please let me have your views. Our collective ideas and voices can make a difference!
One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime and issues can range from depression and anxiety, schizophrenia and dementia.
In other words, nearly as much ill health is mental illness as all physical illnesses put together. There really is no health without mental health. Mental health problems can have a wide ranging impact for individuals in a number of areas of their lives including housing, education, training, physical health and relationships with family and friends. It affects people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
So what can we do?
The Health and Social Security Panel started a review of mental health services in Jersey in September 2018. I am lucky to know individuals who tirelessly campaign for improvements and compassionate understanding of Mental Health. Whilst there have been improvements, not enough is being done to be even more understanding and challenging mental health stigmas wherever it exists. Mental Health needs to be woven into the fabric of general healthcare as a normal part of the service and needs to form part of the overall governmental health strategy for the future of the Island.
If elected, I will seek to work with the Scrutiny Panel and work towards developing support and services for islanders across all aspects of Mental Health.