Wards close, operations on hold in drastic move

HEALTH and Social Services has announced a series of drastic cuts to save money after confirming that it would overspend its budget by £2.5m. this year.

HEALTH and Social Services has announced a series of drastic cuts to save money after confirming that it would overspend its budget by £2.5m. this year.

Minister Hunter Adam, pictured, said in a statement released today it was with ‘great reluctance’ that his department would take the action to curb costs.

The cuts, which take effect from Saturday, are to:

  • Defer all non-emergency and non-urgent off-island treatment until January.
  • Close a surgical ward and a theatre, and postpone all elective, contract surgery until January.
  • Close Divette Ward and relocate patients to other ‘appropriate placements’.
  • Cease recruitment to vacant posts, unless the post is demonstrated to be essential for patient, service user or public safety, and a business case is approved by all directors.
  • Minimise the use of agency staff to provide cover and increase the use of bank and part-time staff wherever possible.
  • Minimise weekend overtime duties and defer weekend work to weekdays wherever this is clinically appropriate.

Deputy Adam said the department was under significant financial pressure.

Comments for: "Wards close, operations on hold in drastic move"

More Local Than You

Truly shameful.

How much did all the States jaunts overseas cost in the prior year? Lot of wasted money having read their recent accounts.

How can you budget like this when it comes to people's health and well being?

If the States hadn't stupidly given away that £2.6m then none of these cuts would need to happen.

What a joke.

John Gollop

I am not on HSSD board, although I offered my services to the MInister and got rebuffed!

There may well be evidence of too many functions, overseas conferences and agency charges but this is generally small change in the scheme of things. Deputies attending fact finding commonwealth parliamentary conferences have nothing to do with this.

Also the defrauded money is dreadful, but comes out of a totally different budget. The real issue is people should pay MORE TAX, if they want the existing or improved level of services. There are only so many inefficiencies and over high salaries that can be pruned.

Ray

'The real issue is people should pay MORE TAX, if they want the existing or improved level of services.'

You read it here first folks!

More Local Than You

Are you still smoking John?

I hope not.

Shame on Hunter Adam for turning you down - I know what a great job you're doing with the Guernsey Disability Alliance.

Guernseyman

Maybe a case of "too many cooks ...."

More Local Than You

Not a case of too many cooks...

Especially when Hunter Adam is wielding a big spoon.

A Worker

So where does the money come from to pay for the incompetence of the States then John? It all comes from the same place in the end. When you "prune the over high salaries" that money is saved in perpetuity, surely that's basic economics?

isn't_it_ironic_?

John, we love you, really, but in light of the outrageous overspends all round by States committees as far back as we can remember, please reconsider your comment about us paying more tax, the middle man is being taxed to death as it is.

If you and your counterparts continue to squeeze, soon Guernsey will not be the attractive place to live and do business in it once was, as regardless of 0-10 and the like, companies won't want to be here, as they won't be able to afford the outrageous wages their staff require to simply survive, and shoot ourselves in the foot, we most certainly will - !

When all the businesses have relocated to more affordable climes and we're all back to growing spuds and toms, then you can all go whistle for your tax, as we'll all be so skint we won't be able to pay it anyway.

Careful what you wish for, John.

Royston Gauno

The defrauded money may well come from a different Budget John though doubtless collected from the same public. I do fear that much is being missunderstood at present, ie, perhaps Culture and Leisure may remain under budget and therefore out of Public Scrutiny, are we getting value from this department ? Then perhaps money collected from the same pool maybe better used elsewhwere. Do we lose a Bus route completely or should we divert a half full one from another route reschedule a 15 mins service to 30 mins ?

Sam Orchard

this story makes me laugh. If ever there was a dysfunctional short-termist decision that fails to actually address the underlying problem then this is it.

isn't_it_ironic_?

yes, I believe that Mr Hunter Adams other proposal to simply 'get rid of all the sick people' was rejected, fortunately.

Still, just think how many more consultants they could afford if they didn't have any patients...........

Really

No cutting back on external consultants then? No reorganisation of the admin side of things? Just take it out on the island population instead?

Things just keep getting better and better . . .

milly

my thoughts entirely,

this looks like revenge on the general public and not cuts where they should be.

a cut in admin is what should be done first and not front line services.

balance

you do realise that the consultant costs in HSSD's numbers are for personnel providing mdeical services... not management consultants. I guess they could stop bringing in locum cover and specialist nursing etc, not sure that would be a vote winner though. John Gollop is right, somebody has to pay for the services that are being provided. Does anyone know of a healthcare system that isnt struggling with cost??

Guernseyman

Simple fact that health and social care has peaks and troughs of demand. If you allocate it a rigid budget then the only way to meet this is to have to say no to certain care when you are in a peak demand period.

HSSD overspent in 2010 and then underspent in 2011.

It does make me laugh though when you will have the same people shouting "outrage, heads must roll" at the announcement of the overspend a week or so ago and they will now shout the same things when measures are being taken to control the spend.

Gilthead

Dear HSSD

Welcome to the real world.

Rustylink

Is this a pathetic attempt to blackmaif the States of Guernsey after failing to make appropriate efforts to live within their buddet?

Spartacus

Poor financial management or unrealistic budget? I suspect the budget was far too low to cover the cost of this needs based service.

Phil

Of course the budget was unrealistic, I cannot accept for one moment that HSSD has squandered money unnecessarily. Much like every other States department it is run at 100% effiency levels, with no unwarranted expenditure whatsoever.

No provision of unused childcare places, no excessive use of agency nurses at vast cost, no use of consultants due to senior civil servants being incapable of doing the job they're employed to do, no paying through the nose for travel costs for off island care etc etc, nothing to see here, move on please.

Spartacus

Phil

I suppose you could run HSSD standing on your head while juggling, cure everyone yourself and return a profit from the service. You have all the answers don't you.

Backchat

Spartacus

I thought it was you who had all the answers?

jones

Maybe the MSG could give a rent refund for that huge rent. Healthcare is an emotive subject and will only get more expensive as we continue to live longer. At some point it will have to get like Soylent Green or Logan’s Run when we can no longer afford to maintain the health of those that due to advances in medicine are outliving the social security contributions we all make. The only solution to longer life is higher contributions to fund the system.

Mark

Just close down all the drug companies, then the hospitals won't be able to buy hugely overpriced pharmaceuticals, people won't have their life span extended so will only claim a pension for a couple of weeks at most - social security contributions will become unnecessary and then we can live in a true low tax utopia!

marrkB

Jones -what do yo mean by huge rent?..who owns the building then?

Portlandgrey

Did the press not report that the MSG own the building & then rent it to themselves?

Is Hunter Adam not a MSG shareholder?

Conflict of interest? You decide.

Jim

To clarify ...

http://www.thisisguernsey.com/latest/2011/06/13/minister-has-interest-in-750k-rent-deal/

Scarlett

Can Mr Hunter Adam confirm whether these are his own Department's ideas or that of the incredibly expensive consultant they brought in to 'help' them manage their budget (and whose employment to do so, ironically adds to the huge overspend).......

anyone know...or care....?

Expect not, our increased taxes will cover all out of control States Department spending, ay.

markB

Sounds like Mr Hunter is throwing the toys out the cupboard

eddie41

So this is the 'trickle down effect' of zero-10 ?????

Dave Haslam

No Eddie, its clearly because the ordinary tax payer needs to pay MORE TAX.

This has NOTHING to do with giving the finance industry a free ride and everything to do with average joe who has it easy and just doesnt pull his weight.

God forbid we have a set of politicians who would actually admit that zero 10 is an ill thought out failure.

Nopoe, we'll have GST, increase in basic tax rate, reduction in mortgage allowance stealth taxes galore, meanwhile the smoking gun sits on the table next the white elephant in the room.

forest

I could accept that cuts need to be made IF HSSD weren't spending millions on consultants to tell them how to run their organisation!

Dani

I like the last three points. They seem sensible approaches that will help in the long term to reduce costs.

The first two will keep the budget for this year down but will reduce next years spends. Not great for those who have to wait but at least emergency issues still get dealt with.

The closure of the ward must be done carefully. From what I understand it's used by those with mental health problems and dementia. It must be ensured they get the same high quality help elsewhere. Perhaps the relevant charities can be brought in as well to ease the transition for the people involved.

guern

Stop the scroungers benefits, that should pay for the operations etc

service

Delaying treatments til January......talk about stupid and cooking the books! We'll just go more over budget next year

How about we trim the fat in the offices and get rid of the ridiclous states workers pension then the taxpayer can get the treatment!

This pension is the problem!!!!!!!!!!

soph

This is a poor example of SOG management

So £80 million for airport extension when £20 million could have done a good minimum repair job

Now we have an essential service (hospital) closing down services to save money!

There is something very wrong somewhere

Woody

This page and the article in the press fail to make it very clear that this is only a temporary measure and should only be in place for a month.

nobby

This is what happens all the time in the UK. At the last hospital I worked wards/operations were cut for 3 months of every year to save money. Realistic budget, more tax or less expectation is the answer. This hospital provides a level of sevice way over the 60,000 population it serves.

JohnW

Dilettante Management of the highest order!This is an appalling situation. Surely the prognosis was obvious earlier in the year and should have been managed properly to softer effect. Is this included in the final episode of Island Hospital?

A woker

Opinion in today's paper has it right, we continue to pay gold plated pensions to the parasites that is the civil service, while cutting health care to those that have generally worked for the island, rather than ripped it off. The civil service should be cut by 40% and the ones left should have their salaries cut by the same and be made to do a proper days work. The normal working person has subsidised the civil service for too long and if they don't like it they can enter the real world. The world where if you don't do your job properly you're fired and not just moved or hidden somewhere in the void that is the civil service. The rest of us have to work harder, just so the majority of these parasites don't have to.

listen

The civil service in efficiences and outrageous pension seem to be coming up in all these forums yet nothing ever gets done or mentioned......its a disgrace!

Guernseyman

excellent generalistic troll post and I bet if we looked at it you haven't worked any harder or paid more tax or contributions this year than you did last

A Worker

I've worked as hard this year as I did last year but you're right I haven't paid more in contribution because like most of us in the private sector I haven't had a rise again this year. The civil service have had a rise again this year though I noticed.

Guernseyman

so therefore your comment of "The rest of us have to work harder, just so the majority of these parasites don’t have to." is entirely incorrect ...

Questor

Probably as it was part of a 3-year pay deal. Pay freeze on the cards for next year, rumour has it...

billythefish

A couple of questions.

1. Where is your proof that civil servants don't work hard for the island?

2. Where is your proof that civil servants have ripped the island off?

3. Where is your evidence that the levels of service could be maintained if staff numbers were cut by 40%? Or do you think it should just be done and then see what happens?

4. Why do you think those that are left should have their salaries cut by 40%? Do you reasonably expect that someone should, for example, be in charge of the £100m health budget as CEO and be paid only £60k?

I look forward to your answers.

cyril serbant

thank you billythefish.

as someone who works hard for an average wage and is surrounded by hard working, decent people it gets irritating when I see comment after comment from people who don't have the faintest idea about me or my job but still feel qualified to run me into the ground.

Gsyman

Yes, so hard done by aren't you. Pay rise every year when some of us haven't seen one for five years, and a final salary pension, still open to any new members.

Us hard working, decent people also get irritated when we are trying hard to make ends meet and see our taxes going towards this feather-bedded Utopia, which none of our politicians have the b*lls to tackle.

billythefish

Gysman

One thing you're forgetting is that what the Civil Service have historically offered staff is a "steady eddie" kind of job. Yes, they are doing maybe better now, but I didn't see anyone squealing how far better off civil servants were when the good times were rolling, finance staff were pocketing ridiculous bonuses, coupled with wage inflation that far outstripped the public sector, and other industries, most of whom rely directly or indirectly on finance were charging through the nose for their services.

Now the private sector trough is running low, the stones are being thrown!

A Worker

Billyfish,

What a load of tosh. No I don't think someone in charge of a 100 million budget should be on 60k a year. What's your reasoning towards the other 230 civil servants on over 100k? The civil service have been paid well above the market average for years. There is approximately three times as many civil servants as there would be in a similar sized town in England (Google it). Yes I know some of the jobs are done from central office but the numbers are still shocking. All we here is how much more they could earn in the private sector. Why don't they go into the private sector then?

As for you Guernseyman using semantics to defend an undependable position, pathetic.

Tomthe guernseyman

billythefish, I have proof, I was there.

I worked for the civil service for two years when I left school and the waste and incompetence was staggering. It was hard to do a normal job after having it so easy for those two years. I realized when I entered the real world that you don't need one person in an ivory tower to pass the work down to three people below him, who then pass it down to managers and supervisors, who then hand it down to someone else to actually do the job

Guernseyman

@a worker - I wasn't using semantics to defend anything merely pointing out how you ranted and raved about having to "work harder" so the "parasitic" civil servants don't have to, yet by YOUR OWN ADMISSION you haven't worked harder at all. If it is so much of an easy life why don't you change jobs?!

Gsyman

Billythefish

Bonus:

At the bank where I work we had the temerity to ask about the bonus, and were told 'your bonus, if you want to call it that, is that you can come back next year, and keep your job.'

Bet that hasn't been heard at Custard Castle, eh?

Questor

A Worker

Just remember a lot of those highly-paid civil servants aren't actually in charge of these departments. Many are in roles such as legal, air traffic controllers, head teachers, health professionals and so on. Besides which, I think the number you quote is the number who cost more than £100k - which in reality means they are on around £75k. Still a lot, but not quite the salary you think...

And no, I'm not one of those 230.

isn't_it_ironic_?

I wonder which department you work in, Billy......?

Anyway, I digress, yes, times have changed, and we have to change with them, all of us, as we are, after all, one island, and all pay into the same pot...

in this case, the CS pension pot, that is doing very well out of the finance sector (every private sector, in fact), thanks to the substantial wages that, (as you pointed out) it has always paid, and the subsequent taxes generated that have continually gone into the States coffers...

the same coffers that most probably will now be substantially utilised to prop up your, oops, no, their, flagging CS pension fund.

Do you honestly expect us all to keep propping up CS pensions whilst many of us in the private sector have absolutely b*gger all to look forward to in our dotage....?

- classic example of change, our falling out of favour with the UK. Once we benefited them, now they're in the cack, we don't, and they want their toys back.

It might be unfair, but that tough, and that's life, and life is change, like it or not.

Guernseyman

Don't they pay into pension schemes in the private sector anymore? I am sure that's what happened to mine .. i better quick go and check

isn't_it_ironic_?

Guernseyman, could you please expand on your comment?

You've lost me....

Guernseyman

your post made it sound as though the private sector doesn't have pension schemes "whilst many of us in the private sector have absolutely b*gger all to look forward to in our dotage". That's not how it is though is it, most private sector companies have such schemes don't they?

Spartacus

Pension arrangements are a personal responsibility. It is up to the individual to ensure that either

a) he is part of an employer scheme

and/or

b) he has a private pension and adequate salary to keep up substantial contributions.

The problem seems to be that many have no employer scheme and inadequate salary to make private contributions to a scheme. Some simply fail to prioritise private contributions.

Could more be done by government to address this?

A Worker

Guernseyman, how many building workers and shop staff have private pensions then? Even the ones in the private sector that do have pensions don't have these unsustainable pensions that are still handed out to the Civil service.

On another note I probably do work harder now, as I am scared of losing my job, something civil servants never have to worry about.

Isn't_it_ironic?

I didn't say no one in the private sector has a pension, but fact is employers are cutting back on pensions, and pensions generally are dropping in value, so it is entirely unfair that whilst those in that category will have far less, or in some cases, none, they are still expected to maintain the status quo for the CS.

final salary pension schemes were closed years ago for the private sector as they were unaffordable, but the CS and their unions still insist they are entitled to them.

HSSd put millions into the CS pension pot to sustain it, whilst we've got Hunter Adams here saying he'll cut back essential medical services to save money......

Do you think that 's right? I don't.

If the States froze CS wages for just a couple of years, that saving would go along way towards filling the black hole, but instead, they're determined to keep making us all pay more tax etc., and now perhaps GST and a general raise in the tax rate...again, the many subsidising the few (CS)

I don't doubt there are many honest hardworking people in the CS, as there are lazy gifts, the same as the private sector, the difference is that those in the private sector are not propped up with tax payers money.

Isn't_it_ironic?

People can, should and do contribute to private pension schemes, Sparty, and through no fault of their own, many of those are simply not up to the job and consequently aren't worth what they should be.

I know of one chap who paid in for 20 years who got a letter a while back to say, sorry, it's all gone.

What do you propose the Gvt does about that?

Spartacus

Scarlett

Good point and fair question. I know there have been problems with pensions. The good thing nowadays is that pensions have become more controllable and portable.

I believe it is a legal requirement now to receive at least an annual valuation(?), it's important to take responsibility for this - its your money!

Monitor investment performance against appropriate benchmarks and take action - at the very least ask questions. Don't just let your investments go down the pan and get depleted by charges. There are plenty of IFAs who will advise and anyone can get books from the library if they don't know where to start.

Personal finance should be taught in schools and I mean drummed in from an early age.

Guernseyman

@ a worker - no the builders and shop workers would rather have their iphones, sky HD and flat screen tv's instead ...

Tomth Guernseyman

billyfish,

the proof that civil servants don't work hard for the island is easy to provide, if hey worked so hard we wouldn't need so many to do so little. In England half as many d twice s much for half the pay and without the pensions these parasites get

L'eree Lad

Oh come on Questor, other than the employer's insurance contribution of 5% any other cost is part of the salary 'package' of the civil service employees.

Just because they don't receive the pension contributions straight-away doesn't make them any less part of their pay. As we will see when the battle starts to reduce these unsustainable pensions...

Slightly Angry

I don't have a problem with over/under spends and cutbacks, etc - that's the world we live in. What I do have a problem with is my wife going in for a pre-op meeting this morning (operation due on Monday 3rd Dec), being told all is going ahead as planned, and then receiving a phone call at 14:00 telling her it has been cancelled! It shows a basic lack of respect in how they are treating their patients. People worry about operations and to have been steadily building up to it over the last 2 months and then to face a potentially lengthy wait for it to be rescheduled in January is just unacceptable.

Dani

You have to get all the time off work as well booked in. Especially if there is recovery time to factor in. I bet that's going to be an issue for some. Or if you other plans booked in thinking your op was out the way.

Brunette

Well said Soph.... maybe the 2.6m fraud could have saved our MUCH needed Health Service, Shake up is an understatement but they will still take the high paid salaries each and every month.

blt

How about we cut out free cosmetic treatments for druggies etc (full teeth implants etc) them we could afford to give people the rightful service.

Oh and the civil service isn't getting cut or having its pension scheme amended, surely thats less important than healthcare!

Portlandgrey

BLT, please tell me the teeth implant story is fiction?

bcb

I`m not sure about BLT`s post but i do know a guy who had cosmetic treatment to his teeth in his forty`s because it was free. It was something that never bothered him before but if he had of had treatment he would have had to pay for it as he was working. He did actually tell me he got it done because it was free.

Rosie

I know a 21yr old that has dentistry work done to the tune off£2k. Never worked. Sleeps in the day, out in the night and enjoys his lifestyle. Why should he work when we are all paying for him!!!!!

local lass

yes I have heard this too, it is true, makes me sick, there are families out there with children who cant afford to have there children s teeth checked and sorted meaning that a lot of children are now suffering and losing there teeth.

The less you do for this island, the more you get back, where as the more you do in this island you get nothing back!!

A Worker

I've no problem with the hard working under valued nurses, teachers or even the police even though there are too many. My problem is the thousands sitting in their little cocooned offices passing the work down and down until someone actually does something. We have thousands of civil servants who do absolutely nothing except pass the work to someone else. Unfortunately the civil service run the island and to this day we've not had a single deputy with the guts to stand up to them. Instead they make the rest of us work until we're 66 or 67 to pay for their massive underserved pensions, pensions which every other government in the world have put a stop to. Unfortunately our gutless States yet again use those that can't fight back to make their savings. The civil service is like the Burmese Government, those that are in it bleed the country dry and the rest can do nothing about it. If we were starting from scratch the civil service would be less than half the size it is and cost a third of what it does now.

Rees Bryant

This appears to be extremely naive financial management. From Hunter Adam himself, or his Finance chief, if there is one?

If ops/treatments are needed the costs have to be met, and the sooner the better, and the budget is not relevant, as it is only a guide. Putting it off by a few months only changes the financial reporting. The same amount of money will be spent, perhaps even more.

2012 or 2013, so what? Does anything not get done in 2013 because operations and/or treatment from 2012 were delayed? Budgets are guides in such cases, not absolutes. Or should be.

This looks like a panic reaction that has not been thought through - or was he under pressure, or badly advised? Some good words for the Press?

The real answer lies in reducing costs in 2013, and setting realistic and stringent budgets. But with hospital and emergency services there will always be the unexpected which cannot be budgeted for other than as a provision. Is there a provision for 2012, or 2013? If not there should be, otherwise it is not realistic.

I find it hard to believe that I have had to make these comments in 2012, and on an Island that prides itself on Financial Management - or is that only for others?

Lou

A question .... How much money is spent on repeat prescriptions whereby the medication is given out but never used

Peter

And yet they still find the money to give away as overseas Aid.

Guern

The old saying charity starts at home should apply, and yes until we can afford it again all over seas aid should be stopped. I pay my taxes to keep the Island going not some far flung place that can't sort themselves out.

Perhaps we should apply for aid to pay for HSSD bills.

Rosie

Don't start me on that. I was livid when I heard it.

local lass

Surely making these cut backs will cause more trouble for next year???

If they wanted to save money this year, why did they introduce SAP??? it was suppose to become live in May but didn't so have been paying thousands per month to delay it until Jan!!! Also for SAP they have been paying for tutors to come over to Guernsey from the UK to run teaching sessions for it, all paid for by the HSSD with accommodation at St Pierre Park and travel expenses etc etc!!!

Why should staff now suffer, we are being asked to work a lot more extra hours now at a normal hourly rate because they cant afford to pay out overtime!!!

Agency staff have been employed for years which have cost a fortune at £30+ an hour, they have been allowed to work all unsociable hours and even nights, but now because agency staff have been reduced, permanent staff are expected to carry on and work with no extra money or overtime rates!! It just doesn't make sense!!!!!!!!!!!!

Backchat

I heard another States owned loss making company had been employing agency staff at £30+ an hour & not treating their permanent staff well too!

steve

The states of Guernsey are taking every penny they can out of the working person through tax and other things, where is this money going? i am a local person and i have had enough. I have a family member who is a local and working in the hospital, they have been pushed to one side and the agency staff have worked all the hours they wanted for double the price so you can see why the moral is so low and they cant recruit!!

John

Where's Dave Jones to tell us how rich Guernsey is and how wonderful the future looks.

Backchat

The States cannot control their spending, we knew that before & still do, there is a worldwide recession best they start soon,

oh they tell us we are unaffected here!

soph

Ha Ha Backchat

Bulls eye in one

Oh and the recession would have nothing to do with those Banks etc etc who ripped off customers to pay shareholders!!!

What is happening for Private Patients at PEH? Do they still get their treatment/ops?

If so, PEH should concentrate on equal opportunities for all

LG

I've had my operation cancelled. But I phoned MSG to see what was going on and was told if I wanted to go private, the hospital say I can have it as planned next week. Its a difficult decision to have to make to be honest. The cost is extreme but so is my pain so which is the lesser of the evils?

Bewildered

How about cutting out some of the administrators............I'd like to know the ratio of admin staff to nursing staff.

Also why do we need so many part time employees at the hospital it seems every department has them in clerical roles, and yet whenever I see them most are not actually doing anything !

There also seems to be a culture of hobby staff...........ladies who really don't need to work but still want to fill their time for a few hours each day before leaving and driving off in their huge mercs and four wheel drive vehicles !

Savings and economies should start in house, not by depriving the people who pay for the service in the first place !!

Kaz

Is it possible to see where all the money has gone i.e. broken down into different types of operations/treatments that may make it more apparent where the over spend has happened to Joe Public that may make it easier to understand why people are now being turned away.....

sarnia expat

Just for everyone's information and not taking into consideration the patients involved - nursing staff were only told their ward was going to close AFTER the Press/Media knew.....

Agency staff given one day's notice.

Ordinary nurses to be dispersed throughout the HSSD willy nilly; their holiday plans completely disrupted. If you had planned for Christmas or New Years off, forget it.

Get rid of the suits. Full stop.

Bet they are glad that filming on "Island Hospital" has stopped eh?

logic

To be honest with you I havnt read all the nitty gritty or researched this very thoroughly - when I have time I will! However the news is that they have gone over the budget set. What was the budget for previous years? What are the major differences and where was the biggest loss? Surely all the figures need to be narrowed down to establish what it was that made it go so crazily over budget and then let the public know the results. Perhaps it was a completely unrealistic budget when it was set? Its a huge anomaly though so surely it should be easy enough to see what went wrong? We should never forget though or appreciate that we have an amazing health service over here with fantastic nursing staff who are, generally speaking, on pretty low wages.

jckcac

Totally agree with sarnia expat and others, i have worked for HSSD for over 30 years and work on a ward due to close.

Couldn't believe they could treat us with such disrespect as to not of given us some prior warning before announcing through the media these closures and cuts. I heard this on the radio news bulletin, i am totally gobsmacked and as yet have still not been contacted by anyone regarding my future, where will i be working? what shifts will i have to do? does anyone care about my plans made over the festive period?

In my 30 years i have seen so many management jobs created, this is all at the expense of hard working nurses who get paid a fraction of their wage. Get rid of unnecessary management( most of them) budget achieved. Save the nurses.

Dani

I can't believe they didn't give you a heads up!

Have they told you what will be happening now?

Julie

Hunter-Adam do the honourable thing and close the door on your way out.

Oilcan Annie

Re the huge cost of agency staff. This has been a growing problem since I worked as a nurse at the PEH twenty years ago. Working nights made me ill and as there were plenty of other nurses who wanted nights I suggested we permanently swop? No.So I suggested a job share ?No.I asked for part time . No. So I left and have worked in the private sector ever since. This rigid inflexibilty lost them countless local nurses and an ever growing dependency on non local short term nurses and hugely expensive agency staff. They have no one to blame but themselves

Nemesis

My wife also, 15 years ago.

Nemesis

Basically, non-local nurses on short-term contracts were on a far better pay deal than the local nurses. In disgust she left and returned to the finance sector after a decade as an RGN and they bent over backwards for her, paid her considerably more straight away and gave her a generous private health package which included me and the kids!

Guernseyman

so being a nurse wasn't the overpaid fat pension easy life some on here would have you believe?!

Guern

Perhaps in order to reinstate the actions that should start today, we should stop all unemployment pay to those who have recieved it for more than 6 months, who are not MEDICALLY unable to work.

All these career single mother who move from partner to partner and increase the population, should also have all their benefit stopped.

All unemployed who own a car and have sky tv etc should have all benefit stopped.

What a saving this would have on the states purse.

Oh but we cannot do that because it is their RIGHT.

No rights for those who have worked all their life and paid into social security, and are now suffering and in need of medical help.

Guernsey has to take a step back look at its self and re visit some of these areas to sort it's self out.

Gavin is the man and some of the medicine he will issue will not taste nice but in the long run will be to all of our benefit.

Hunter-Adam should do the correct thing and offer his resignation, as this is a total "cock up", and a disgrace for the Island.

Spartacus

Guern

In some ways I agree with you although your views are rather prejudiced which I don't agree with.

My solutions would be to introduce government policies to

a) Make childcare and skills training available to everyone, empowering single mothers to work and have an esteem boosting career.

b) Ensure that unscrupulous employers who pay rates at minimum wage are penalised and reputable employers and small businesses are supported to enable all low earners the opportunity to work for a wage which is worth MORE to them than benefits.

c) The budget for HSSD should be based on average expenditure over say a five year period. I don't think Hunter Adam is to blame. He cannot control how many people get ill and it is therefore nonsense to expect HSSD to stick to a defined budget within a defined timeframe. It is scandalous that an affluent island like Guernsey is cutting essential health services.

Johno

Here is a controversial solution (or part) to the current crisis.

Get ALL civil servants to work a normal 39 hour week, for the same pay rather than the 35/36 they work now. Should save a few million!

And as for the civil servants that keep harping on about how poorly paid they are, hence the pensions etc. Well I have have seen an example of somebody this week who earns more than my top (highly qualified) staff, works 35 hours a week rather than 39 AND gets a pension contribution from the employer (IE me and you, the taxpayer)

Methinks they are looking for savings in the wrong place!

Dave Jones

Johno

You do talk some rot sometimes.

I have senior civil servants working in my department (Housing) often until 9 pm at night and at the weekends on occasions, for no extra pay whatsoever. My Chief officer and the head of Housing control regulary send me e-mails late into the evening and sometimes very early in the morning.

They take a real pride in what they do and they work damn hard on behalf of this community and precious little thanks they get for it.

Ray

If they are not competent enough to do their jobs within their allotted hours perhaps they have been over promoted?

Dave Jones

What a stupid reply Ray

Our department has been paired to the bone staff wise

The only thing that hasn't changed is the amount of work .

It has increased year on year, hundreds of enquiries every month,a dozen or so different work streams all needing attention. I do wonder sometimes whether the public really have a clue as to what it takes to keep these departments running and deliver the services the public expect.

It is unusual for you to make such a crass remark

Spartacus

Dave Jones

Perhaps you could give Ray a guided tour of your department? He has been brainwashed by too many hours of TIG and has lost his mojo.

Ray

Sorry Dave but there is something wrong within the organisation if you have senior management working late evenings and weekends

Perhaps its time for someone to step away from the firing line for a couple of days and ask around the office if there is a better way of doing a certain task ,or even why that task is being done at all.Quite often the answer will be 'we've always done it this way'

Office meetings because it's Monday and we always have a meeting on Mondays can also be one of the biggest time wasters in a department,much to the annoyance of someone with a two foot pile of paperwork sitting on his desk

I'm only speaking from past experience from another life but there is always something that can be done differently to improve and speed up the workload

Johno

Dave

I am not talking about the top level civil servants as I know SOME of them do long hours.

I am talking about the manual workers, one of who approached me this week for a job but I could not compete with the package he currently had! Reason for wanting to leave? his manager did not have a clue and he nothing to do. Seems to me too many staff?

Paule (Guern in UK)

It seems even affluent Guernsey is not unaffected by cuts too,I work in a large hospital in east anglia with over 1000 beds,in 2009 the trust overspend was over 20 million as i recall. We have had a pay freeze since and no sign of it ending,staff cuts in every department as if things were not bad enough even then.

The strain of it is everywhere to be seen, staff morale is understandably low. The pressures put on nursing staff and carers is unbearable at times with often no breaks taken on a 12 hour shift,we are allowed 30 mins paid break over 12 and a half hours.

I am sorry to say i cannot see light at the end of the dark NHS tunnel and sympathise with the staff and colleagues at the PEH and moreso for the patients who will inevitably suffer as a consequence, we are given more to do with fewer staff and everyone has a breaking point.

I read recently that there are over 1000 employeees at the PEH and around half are nurses and care staff, where i work the workforce is 6500 with between a quarter and a third nursing staff, i think that tells you where the money is going and also where it should be going.

Sarnia expat

Dave you are undoubtedly a man of the people and the defence of your particular department is admirable. You must realise however that those of us who have worked in both sectors i.e the Civil Service and the private sector seethe when States department whinge about their lots. We can see the waste both in time, staff and resources. Think about the hours spent debating things which in the commercial world would have been sorted out with a few minutes, not after a few meetings.... The incompetent staff who continue to be disorganised and disruptive, but who are never sacked, as they would be in the commercial world. When i worked as a Civil Servant, overtime was not considered. There was no incentive to do overtime, you get paid whether or not the job is done, and is dosent matter how long the job takes to do. Dave, I would be asking myself why your staff feel it necessary to work overtime? Should you not review their competencies? The ridiculousness of the famous Civil Service Board interview is still going strong. The panel interview asking inane questions, taking around three to four weeks to make an appointment...... Just get with the times.

Dont hang Hunter Adams out to dry. Start by sacking some of the hospital managers who allowed the budgets to run away with themselves. Or even better appoint a hospital management team who actually have been employed within the nursing profession as opposed to career managers who couldnt organise a pie throwing competition in warehouse full of pies.

Dave Jones

I disagree with some of your points but I am not getting bogged down in endless posts on the merits do individual staff,

All I can say is that Housing staff work late on occasions because of pressure of work, I know because it is myself and the board who pile the pressure on as we want progress in lots of areas.

On the health issue, I believe a major part of the problem is that over the years too much so called NHS best practice has been foisted upon our health service by managers and others who have been brought in to fill jobs and that has created its own problems.

We also need in my view a massive recruitment drive to attract back all the local people who once worked for HSSD.

As for the present situation, it is about leadership and it will be for the States to decide whether Dep Adam and his board will continue to head up HSSD

or not, it would be premature in my view to make a judgment either way. There is little doubt that HSSD have a strong case for more funding but I don't think that is the issue here, this is all about the way the whole thing has been handled and that is what Dep Adam and his board will be judged on.

Johno

Dave Jones

This is the most common sense paragraph on this forum, you have hit the nail on the head!

"On the health issue, I believe a major part of the problem is that over the years too much so called NHS best practice has been foisted upon our health service by managers and others who have been brought in to fill jobs and that has created its own problems.

We also need in my view a massive recruitment drive to attract back all the local people who once worked for HSSD."

Scarlett

yes, Johno, Dave's Department aside (it seems, judging by the zero budget his dept spent on imported consultants - amazing, well done, Dave!!) how about our States stops importing people who don't have a clue about how our island works to tell us how to do things the 'correct' UK way?

It's totally rife in all departments, Environment being a classic example, with the knock on effect of totally unsuitable expensive decisions being made 'UK style' and of course, those jobs not being made available to locals in what is a shrinking job market, more people to add to our burgeoning population, and local house prices being kept falsely high because they're being bought/rented by imported staff on substantially higher wages than the average local.

What exactly IS so great about the 'UK' way anyway? Britannia may have been great, once, but right now their supposedly forward thinking attitude doesn't seem to be doing them ant more favours than Jersey's is on their side of the water.

Johno

Scarlett

You are right abut the "UK style" decisions. Unfortunately the people who make the decisions on bringing in these highly paid staff, are almost certianly from the UK...... and look at the mess they are in!

Herbert Roth

Agree with Johno & Scarlett & Dave Jones.

I do have some sympathy for the dept, because medical inflation is not the same as normal everyday inflation and you cannot balance the HSSD books on a year-on-year basis. However, I am concerned by the comments on here by people in the industry who say that there are too many overpaid managers who routinely overlook the thoughts and opinions of the people on the front line.

Scarlett

Absolutely, Herbert, seems the valuable staff such as nurses are getting the Sh8tty end of the stick whilst the HSSD drowns in administrators, middle management and imported 'experts'.

I've experienced nothing but excellent medical care on the rare occasions I've visited there, and it saddens me to think that those staff who really are essential are going to suffer (through ward closure and reduced services) whilst those who aren't will most probably retain their jobs.

All back to front.

Johno

Is that a ninja with a spear on the roof behind Dep Adams ? Holding safe the sacred budget of HSSD ?

Forest

Absolutley agree.

Seems to me that HSSD which has the biggest budget of all states departments has become the gravy train express for middle and upper management while (from what I'm reading here) has left the real hard working nurses and staff on the front line behind. It's no wonder they're constantly going over budget when they're carrying so many freeloaders.

Luke S

Well spotted Johno!

Looks like a Sandman to me though.

Jones

Back to Logan's run I see.

Seriously though this really is a sham, surely there was some insight into this. Time for the board to reflect and also open up on where all the cash goes ... There are a huge number of hard working HSSD staff at all levels, we need get behind them :)

A.J.

Some of the (Guernsey born) hard working night staff, are still working for the HSSD even though they themselves are drawing Pensions.This can't be right! What happens when they need care? who will look after them?

Ace B

Could believe this when I heard it. If we are making cuts, surely we are just passing on this debt the HSSD has amassed into next year, so we will be in the same scenario next year? And also I heard they closed Divette ward which cared for dementia patients. Great to see we are looking after out aging citizens.

What I found almost amusing was the excuse Deputy Adams gave. I have heard some dire excuses in my time, but this one topped it by a long, long shot. What did he say? "We didn't expect more people to get ill, and that isn't out fault".

Hang on a minute. The population is increasing in the majority of countries worldwide. People are living longer, because of healthcare. More people are being born than die every year in Guernsey. And more people are moving here than leaving. Lets assume, quite fairly, a certain percentage (lets, for example, say 20%) of the population will require hospital treatment. If the population increases, that means more people will require treatment. Not only that, with more elderly people in Guernsey, who are more vulnerable to more illnesses, the situation is worsened at best.

Populations have been increasing annually for decades. Why hasn't the health budget increased to match these requirements? I can understand you can't right any department a blank cheque and some cuts need to be made, but this is appalling. I have even less trust and faith in the States of Guernsey than I ever had before. We completely changed the makeup of the States at the last election for a reason-guess the new guns can't cut it at the moment.