Sadly good news is in short supply after the States failed to resolve how it would fund public services through taxation before the next election in 2025. Whilst our elected representatives take some time to reflect on the consequences of their collective indecision many work streams are on hold or under review.
The recent Scrutiny Management Committee hearing involving the Committee for Health and Social Care did provide some important news. (See Scrutiny page by clicking here.)
Surgical Waiting lists:
A concerted effort is being made to target the orthopaedic and gastroenterology backlogs. HSC hope to have these back to pre pandemic levels within the next 2 to 4 months. However, HSC would not confirm when bowl cancer screening would resume.
Phase 1 is on track and on budget however the future of Phase 2 is less certain after it was revealed that the cost had doubled. The next phase includes a new main entrance, additional operating theatres, an expansion to the emergency department, a new children’s ward, neonatel unit, maternity unit, fracture clinic, orthopaedic unit and new private ward.
Supported Living and Aging Well Strategy (SLAWS):
We met recently with P&R policy officers who told us work has commenced to progress outstanding issues in regard to SLAWS. The intention is to bring a policy letter to the States by the end of Q2 2024 on measures to manage the demand on and sustainably of long-term care services and their funding for adults, resulting from the changes in demographics, to include:
- Determining the model and supply of long-term community care to a sufficient extent to inform any modelling of impact on patient outcomes, long-term care fund, workforce planning and key worker accommodation. This will include the fund access criteria.
- Changes to the Long Term Care Fund to deliver the long-term community care model including care in the home and the assessment as to whether an individual’s capital assets are included to some extent or another form of care cost contribution is required towards funding their long-term care.
- Measures that government can put in place to incentivise investment and encourage market growth in the long-term care sector to meet future demand.
- Seek to minimise the current challenges in the delivery of care including recruitment and retention of community care and care home staff and delivery of community care before the end of 2023.And establish a proportionate regulatory framework to support the model of long-term community care in line with the implementation plan by 2027.
We expect to be able to invite GDA members to meet with and discuss these evolving proposals with P&R policy officers as they take shape over the coming months.