Callers challenge Health minister on radio phone-in

UPSET nursing staff and a woman with cataracts being unable to see Tottenham Hotspur play were some of the critical stories aimed at embattled Health and Social Services Minister Hunter Adam yesterday.

UPSET nursing staff and a woman with cataracts being unable to see Tottenham Hotspur play were some of the critical stories aimed at embattled Health and Social Services Minister Hunter Adam yesterday.

Islanders took the opportunity to challenge Deputy Adam on yesterday’s radio phone-in about his department’s £2.5m. overspend and talk about how the cuts made to save money had affected them.

Non-essential surgeries have been deferred, two wards closed and recruitment has been suspended.

One caller thanked the department for ‘ruining’ her friend’s Christmas, after cancelling her friend’s cataract operation for the third time last Monday.

Deputy Adam, pictured, said they could not just push ahead and overspend and that only elective surgeries were being cancelled, not essential treatment.

Comments for: "Callers challenge Health minister on radio phone-in"

Timouthy

How can 1 chief officer fall on the sword for something he had no control over, and yet another, who has seen £2.5M spent over many months, not take any action other than give poor advice to the HSSD board.

steve

Deputy Hunter Adam its time to call it a day.

More Local Than You

What on earth do you know about running the most important States department?

How are you qualified to suggest Hunter Adam call it a day? Presumably based on what you've read in the media? You're not Kevin Stewart in disguise are you?

Ray

...and your own qualifications are exactly???

Skrillex

Agreed, this unpopular and inconstant man needs to go. Dr Nick Riviera from the Simpsons could do a better job.

John

How can Private surgery be carried out by imported Doctors that are using our Hospital.

Guern abroad

Perhaps because the private insurance company/policy is paying to use the facilities and staff.

John

Bearing in mind that we do know the taxpayers own the hospital. Could you clarify what payment we receive for the use of our operating theatre's and personal that we provide to allow this privilege. I could never see any reason to allow private doctors to work our health system. Basically because they should not be the same people who provide States funded treatment.

Peter

What happened to the £7.5 million surplice that was going to be given to charity? Why not give it to HSSD? This would cover the overspend, give us the reciprocal health agreement with the U K and give us cheaper doctors fees.

Sarnia cherie, my heart longs for thee

The more this debate goes on the more I take deputy Adams side. Someone like deputy "DJ" Stewart from his own words in his manifesto is a businessman. You cant put businessmen in charge of such important department or you end up with CEO's and its more about money than the patients.So his department overspends 2.5 million and they still have to close wards, OK so what do we propose? keep to his budget and put more lives at risk and have more closures or let him overspend and see how many complain about a poor service they get. He's between a rock and a hard place.

Taff

It is not sensible nor practical to have absolute budgets for hospitals as they have to react to events, and do not have control over all the patients and situations that they have to deal with. So their budgets should be flexible to a degree (+-15%?), with a degree of contingency planning.

This latest problem is not the over-spend, which does need to be looked at, but the panic reaction to it. Operations cancelled, staff in confusion, etc. All completely avoidable, and for which the HSSD Board should be censured.

The other interesting fact to emerge is the reaction of Southampton, who gave a significant reduction in charges to keep the business. This indicates that we were paying too much initially, and we should be able to bargain for a better deal in the future.

Hopefully this will lead to a more sensible and practical approach to the way the finances

of HSSD are budgeted and managed. The sad thing is the way the weaknesses have come to light.

The good thing has been the response of the clinical staff, who operated on me last week, even though I had to call on the Monday to confirm that they were operating on me at 13.30 that afternoon. Which they did.

Ray

Taff

Do you think that there would be a cat in hell's chance of HSSD NOT spending right up to that +15% flexibility each year?

Only after a team of Rotweiller accountants are parachuted in to identify and root out any wasteful practices should the present budget be increased

The staff at the coalface are best placed to know what the wasteful practices are.The senior manager and his team of deputy managers,and their own teams of under managers are more likely to consider self preservation as the priority

Taff

Ray,

It depends how budgets are managed. Accent on the "managed".

A budget is a guide, which should be kept to where possible, and good financial management systems will allow for agreed overspends which occur and are justified.

Having said that, the starting budget for any particular period should be as stringent as possible. And any waste should be excluded. Note the "should". Who decides?

From what is recorded in the Press and other media this seems to be a common problem locally, not only HSSD. I suspect that Guernsey is very slowly waking up to financial reality after too many years of having it so easy.

And the answer to which is not to raise more taxes, but to cut back on the spend. And a start for HSSD could be the contract with Southampton. But do not spoil the excellent clinical support and service, which I have good cause to bless every day.

Ray

Taff

Nothing to disagree with there.Your reference to the times of plenty is probably the key

Ex Deputy Sam Maindonald in one of her rather 'loose' tweets once said something like " I'ts no fun being a Deputy now that there's no money to spend"

It appears that there are some amongst our current 47 who haven't quite grasped that message yet

King Maker

I would have thought not being able to see Spurs playing was a bonus!

Dave Haslam

Dammit!!

Beat me to it by an hour!

King Maker

Sorry Dave...