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Category: States Assembly

Development of a ‘Jersey Health Account’ Underway

Apr 14, 2023

Yesterday, the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel (the Panel) held a Quarterly Public Hearing to question the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson.

The Panel heard that the Minister intends to commission the Health Economics Unit, an independent organisation that provides economic evaluations and assessments around health systems, to develop a ‘Jersey Health Account’. The Account would create a financial model, providing baseline information around the cost of services in Jersey and identifying potential future options for the financing of healthcare. This formula for healthcare expenditure would allow for comparison with other jurisdictions and the resulting data would need to be interpreted with an awareness of Jersey’s particular geographical situation as an Island.

The Panel also heard that renovation work being done on Clinique Pinel is due to be completed in June, with patients returning to occupy the site in July. Andy Weir, Director of Mental Health and Adult Social Care, informed the Panel that whilst the footprint and bed numbers of Clinique Pinel are not “hugely different” from Orchard House, the layout of Clinique Pinel will be more conducive to meeting the needs of patients, for instance as it will be more suitable for creating separate areas for women and young people.

The Hearing touched on the topics of women’s health and sexual health, with the Panel noting that there are currently issues which may impede some members of the public in accessing the GUM (sexual health) clinic. The Panel was pleased to hear that consideration is being given to the high cost of contraception for women over the age of 23. 

The Panel was also informed that: 

•    An interim non-statutory Health and Community Services Board, providing for improved governance and oversight of the Health and Community Services Department, will be appointed over the next few months, with a view to appointing a permanent Board within 12 months. £1.5 million was allocated for the creation of the Board, the members of which will have a term of three years, in the Government Plan last year.

•    Focus is being given to maternity services as this is an area in which the new Chief Officer for Health and Community Services, Chris Bown, feels that “rapid progress” needs to be made. A new Maternity Strategy should be finalised by the end of the year. The Panel was pleased to hear that work is underway to formulate a new integrated, multi-agency model for perinatal mental health services, whose team that will be operational in August. 

•    A Primary Care Strategy will be developed over 2023 to provide clear strategic direction for primary care, which will incorporate consultation with wider hospital staff. The Minister noted that primary care is “not just about General Practice” but includes other allied health services and care workers.

Deputy Ward, the newly appointed Chair of the Panel, commented on the Hearing, saying: “We thank the Minister and her Officers for their responses to our questions. It was particularly interesting to learn about the work being done to develop the Jersey Health Account and we were pleased to hear that the information generated by this will be adapted taking into consideration the realities of the Island. The Panel is looking forward to the insights that this process should provide us with in terms of where improvements need to be made to ensure we are getting the best possible value for money.”

A full recording of the public hearing can be watched here.

States Assembly Press Notice

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