March 16, 2021

Mike Read’s Health update for March

At a time of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty, it is vital that the voices of our members are heard as government wrestles with many challenges, not just our recovery from COVID and the impact of Brexit. Guernsey’s ageing demographic, fiscal, social and environmental pressures will all compete for limited resources.

The Government Work Plan will become the working document in which the States will define its recovery priorities. A number of work streams within this document will have a fundamental impact on the health and wellbeing of our community, particularly those who already experience additional challenges and barriers because of a disability.

The overarching strategy is one of proactive engagement, collaboration and evidence based challenge to inform and develop the emerging recovery actions and policies as they are brought forward for public consultation and debate.

Government work streams of interest include;

1. A review of options to reduce backlogs and waiting times.

2. A review of our mental health provision, including a wellbeing centre.

3. A social prescribing pilot scheme, enabling GPs, nurses and other health professionals to refer people to a range of local non-clinical services and activities that support health and wellbeing.

4. A review of end of life care, including improvements in provision, availability and affordability of community services, investment in person centred care services, recognition and support of those with caring responsibilities, counselling and support services.

5. A review of the model and funding of primary and community care making it more affordable, encouraging integration between primary care, the community and third sector services and is proactive and focused on prevention.

6. Access to NICE TA drugs and Treatments. A 2 year phased policy that aims to reduce the significant disparity between drugs and treatments available on the NHS compared to the Bailwick. NICE TA investment is seen as catalyst having wider benefits, improving patient care and efficiency of service delivery extending well beyond the 4000 patients receiving new treatments.

To achieve this we have the following objectives.

1. Build a working relationship with the new Committee for Health and Social Care.

2. Build a working relationship with the new Chief Pharmacist, Mrs Beverly Hall.

3. Become a member of the CareWatch panel. CareWatch was set up in 2017 as part of Partnership of Purpose, the CfHSC vision for the transformation Bailiwick health care. The panel acts as an independent voice on behalf of users of health and social care services, representing their views and opening up two way communication between the Committee and the community. CareWatch plays a vital role, consulting and advising as HSC develops the future of heath and care services in the Bailiwick, sharing user experiences and feedback.

4. Build a working relationship with Guernsey’s Health Improvement Commission, a charity with a mission to empower, enable and encourage healthy living in the Bailiwick.

With the help of GDA campaigns, the GDA website, FaceBook pages & social media;

5. Actively collaborate and engage with other charities and organisations to influence government policies and priorities for third sector partnership, health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities.

6. Promote and be a focus for open discussion on members health and wellbeing.

7. Give members a mechanism and platform to have their voices heard, encouraging them to take greater personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing, how and where they access services, sharing feedback, allowing us to identify gaps in provision or areas where services are not meeting their needs.

Mike Read

GDA Health representative

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