Not enough staff to reopen closed wards

WARD closures will continue at the hospital with Health and Social Services now unable to recruit enough people to staff them.

WARD closures will continue at the hospital with Health and Social Services now unable to recruit enough people to staff them.

The department held an emergency meeting with staff on Wednesday, before confirming yesterday it was working to change the layout in the wards that are still open to maximise bed numbers.

The department has money available, but has failed in efforts to attract enough qualified nurses to open the two wards that were closed at the end of November in a last-ditch bid to cap a £2.5m. overspend.

A spokesman has warned that some operations may be delayed, but it was unclear what the exact impact would be at this stage.

Comments for: "Not enough staff to reopen closed wards"


Sorry, I partly blame inefficient HR staff - I have had to speak to them these past few weeks with telephone messages not getting passed on and they mislaid my nursing application form. Poor customer relations.

Katie Duncan

I find this rather farcical as I am both a Guernsey resident and qualified nurse looking for work, yet none of this jobs have been advertised on PEH's website! How can they say none of the posts can be filled when they haven't advertised any of them, yet they are willing to spend yet more money putting on roadshows in Guernsey, UK and Portugal!!

Guern in UK (Paule)


I totally agree, it is rather contradictory to say staff cannot be sourced yet no attempt or very little as far as i can see has been made , as katie says nothing on the PEH website, where better to advertise?

I hope the PEH will remedy this situation before too long.

I work for the NHS in a hospital with over 1000 beds (not near enough as we are on black alert more often than not) and our trust overspent by £20 million three years ago, since then we have had a wage freeze for those of us who kept our jobs, and we are put under relentless pressure day and night with admissions up by over 30% yet staff numbers in decline (frontline staff not middle management which has grown. Of nearly 7000 staff i believe less than a third are nursing staff, get the picture.

I hope Guernsey does a better job than the NHS are doing here.

It is a disgrace.


i worked up the p e h for over 18 years, and the biggest problem is they are top heavy with managers and assisdent managers, they need to bring back the old matron, and get rid of these jobs worth people..

Mr Clinical

Sorry but after speaking to some nurse friends that are well aware of what is going on and listening to a representative of HSSD on Radio Guernsey an hour of so ago - someone is not telling the truth, or should I say, half truths (and it isn't the nurses!)

From what I can see nothing has changed with the new Health minister apart from non-essential operations are now going ahead (which they were going to from new year anyway).

Sausmarez ward is still closed and this doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.

I'm not saying they should open the ward but here is good old political spin blaming it on something that it seems is not the case.


How will this appear on "Island Hospital"?

What an advert for Guernsey?

And what about the poor people who need operations? My wife for one. Her op is due in January, and now no date. And no-one seems to know when.

Those who caused this crazy state of affairs should make a public apology. And it didn't save any money.


I'm not a qualified nurse but have done auxillary nursing before but when i've enquired about jobs there i'm always told theres no jobs available yet other people tell me they need auxillaries.


Well Another guernsey shambles

Island Wide Voting

Tell 'im Ed

PB has posted a plethora of these otiose 'shambles' comments over the last couple of years

PB possibly stands for pretty boring?


Get a grip

Oh u probably do already


If I had a penny for every time P B Falla used that phrase I would adequate capital to invest in the creation of an equestrian centre, stake park, incinerator as well as a designated location for the 'Asterix' wreck !

There ought to be a book entitled ' The many clichés of P B Falla'.

Joking aside, do you have anything worthwhile to contribute ?

Or, perhaps you have a crusade planned in your head and are using this phrase until it becomes so hackneyed that fellow contributors confront you with a verbal attack in which they question you on your motives- the cue that will prompt you to divulge your long-held aims with the rest of us and then begin waging your campaign.


I would definitely visit the stake park. I've always had an interest in lumps of wood sharpened at one end.

I will not try to compete with either PBF or Ed in the use of clichés.


I would also visit - I am a dyslexic carnivore.

craig littenden

I am willing to work at the wards. I will even wear a nurse's dress. I have watched Casualty , it seems quite easy. I am not willing to clean up s*** and p*** though.

Sarnia expat

Wihich is why it is imperative that the HSSD stops lying to the media before tt loses even more qualified nurses who ARE prepared to clear up other peoples mess. . All this bull about not having enough trained staff is a smoke screen, there is the staff available already. I hope to goodness the truth will emerge. The nurses are not allowed to talk about this, so where is the support when they need it?


wow! Not when you can earn much more being an idiot.....I suspect

Paule ( Guern in UK)


Nurses do not wear dresses , it is nowhere near easy and yes you will be required to clean up vomit and faeces.

You total and utter idiot, if you work on a hospital ward as i do, you will realise it is not a matter for derision.


Another shambles.


I can't make a particularly accurate assessment of your motives as this is the first occasion I have encountered you. Wait a minute ! This probably is P B Falla acting under the guise of a hypothetical person attempting to have me make a second judgement in order to expose my folly.

If that's the case, then my theory may have become a reality as this may be P B Falla's commencing move- once further interest has been displayed, he may view this as the opportunity to begin his campaign.


Wrong on all fronts im afraid Ed i omly post under pb falla and my earier post is the FIRST TIME IVE USED THAT PHRASE

Engage brain before opening GOB

Cu Placere


Are you sure ? I am almost 100% sure I've seen this phrase posted under your nom de plum on several occasions prior to this one.

The use of the word 'gob' is suggestive of a coarse mouth. There is, therefore, no need for the negative connotation as it's a native trait of human nature to make inferences from existing material, the manner in which the individual makes the conclusions in notwithstanding.

Jean Pierre



Ed is right... one quick google of 'PB Falla Guernsey' after spotting the word on another forum brought several examples to light... May I remind you of the non firing canon in June...


Stop using agency nurses and paying agency management fees. Start paying local nurses more and employ matrons instead of axillaries. Why pay outside job agencies to find staff? Use the local paper to advertise the jobs and give the nurses a decent wage.

Paule ( Guern in UK)


How would employing more matrons help matters instead of auxillary nurses?, a hospital cannot run without auxillary staff, they are the heartbeat of the ward and much valued and we could not do without them.

You know Auxillary not Axillary as you mention which relates to the armpit area.


Thank you for that correction. I will have to change my spell check software.

A friendly local nurse and matron is worth more to a local born and bred Guernsey man when they wake up from an operation than some foreigner speaking butchered English.

Paule (Guern in UK)


Have to agree with you there, where i work it is often communication breakdown when thngs go wrong or mistakes are made, which are magnified in healthcare. When taking handover for a patient from recovery or A&E over the telephone, it is sometimes difficult to gather the information relevant due to the language barrier. These nurses are taken on by the NHS ( we could not function in our hospital without them)but unfortunately some, not all cannot deliver a good enough standard of english to communicate to other members of staff and moreso to the patients themselves.

I am not saying all foreign nurses but some, but some will always be too many in the health care service.

Some are fantastic who work alongside me and i trust and depend on them as well as british born colleages, so as not to be accused of xenophobia.All the same it is problem that is all to common at the NHS trust where i work and i imagine in most hospitals.


Who are our senior management at HSSD answerable to?

Why is it that HSSD only advertise locally Management vacancies

Does senior management work with the nurses on the wards

Do our good nurses have a Matron to report to?

Are our good nurses being paid allowances and being on long term contracts?

It seems to me that communications between nurses and management are at a low morale and something or someone is responsible for this.

More nurses are required at better wages and conditions to work at our first class state of the art hospital even it means down sizing the management and caring more for patients needs

The hospital is overstaffed at Administration level and needs adjusting accordally.



All very valid questions. We need answers.

I'm very concerned about Katie's post above. How on earth can HSSD justify wasting considerable sums on agency fees, relocation fees, housing etc on imported nurses when we have Guernsey locally qualified nurses who don't get a look in? How can this be possible? Will anyone at HSSD comment on this?

Seems obvious to me that we could pay local nurses a considerably better package to make it a more remunerative career by not spending anywhere near so much on recruiting from overseas unless that becomes essential. External recruitment should be the option AFTER employing local qualified nurses.


Indeed. I thought there was a general 'rule' that licences weren't given out unless an employer could demonstrate that a reasonable effort had been made to recruit on-island. Perhaps, as Housing Minister (and seemingly one of only a few deputies who reads/contributes to these forums), Dave Jones could shed a bit of light on this?

From the Horses Mouth

Please Ask these questions of the HR department at HSSD. Either they are a) telling lies or b) totally incompetent. Either way, this department in particular needs to be thinned out, and staffed by people who actually know what they are doing. Tested out this week, there was apparently no vacancies...... Lyng or incompetent or both?

Neil Forman

Very good questions that need to be answered.

I have been told of local long term staff who have been put on rolling 6 month contracts, top heavy management and general don't give a toss attitudes. Moral is low and someone is not telling the truth.

Island Wide Voting

8pm today 5/12/13

These two jobs are on offer on HSSD's website


Thanks for the kick in the teeth for all of us who are NOT local and actually enjoy our roles as nurses over here. What this has to do with saving money and ward closures in the grand scheme of things is nit picking.

Your HSSD needs a budget Tsar to ensure departments don't overspend.

Let's face it Guernsey is a buisness minded community, shouldn't be too hard to stick to a budget. Start with pharmaceuticals and disposables and see how much money you COULD save by shopping around.


oh and while I am at it I will reply to the actual article....just because you are a qualified LOCAL nurse does not mean you have an automatic right to a role anywhere on the island...

the article says failed to attract nurses....there is a clue in that



Being local shouldn't necessarily guarantee a job in a profession which requires qualifications, but it should guarantee the right to at least be CONSIDERED for the job, and the employer needs to justify why the local person is being looked over in favour of somebody requiring a housing licence.



I don't think for one moment that anybody is criticising imported nurses. The issue is that IF there are locally qualified nurses who are not even being considered to fill vacancies, then something is going terribly wrong.

Our housing licence system rightly grants licences to bring in essential staff to do essential jobs which are unable to be filled by local residentislly qualified staff. It is very expensive to recruit, relocate and house imported staff. If there are a handful of local qualified nurses who are missing out on jobs, then we need to recruit a handful fewer nurses from off-island, and save all those related costs. That's just common sense.

I have been treated exceptionally well at the PEH by fantastic nurses, nearly all of whom were from overseas. I could not fault their professionalism and devotion in any way and I couldn't have cared less whether they were local or not. But if I was a locsl nurse, had done my qualifications and was being told that there were never any vacancies to apply for, then I would rightly be asking a few questions about the recruitment policy and process.

Big Time

Is it perhaps cheaper to import nurses on short-term contracts, than it is to make a qualified local nurse who is returning to practice an established member of staff?


Who is this SPIN DOCTOR the HSSD have brought in to run our health sevices?


Nursie,come over here and hold my hand

Nursie,theres something I don't understand

Round my heart,I've got an awful pain

Oh,Oh,Oh its coming on again.

Nursie,come over here and hold my hand,

I feel kind of blue

Nursie when I look at you

My heart goes boo - boo - boo

Nursie,Nursie,I'm getting worsie

What are you gonna do?


I know of an Agency Nurse who couldn't wait to be asked back time and time again,because of the fantastic salary she was paid.She was here so often she even signed up for membership in a local Gym. Why aren't we training local Nurses? Anyone know the answer? The laws of physics tells us if something is 'topheavy' at some time soon, it is bound to go ti..up.


On the Sunday "moan-in" Deputy Storey, quite obviously out of his comfort zone and nervous in the spotlight, was put on the rack by the presenter and revealed that HSSD was engaging in a significant recruitment campaign and would be attending some big event in the UK in March. March ? We are in the first week of January, March is some eight weeks away; why are HSSD not pulling out all the stops to recruit staff members who can facilitate the re-opening of the wards? Assuming they do get some interest in March it would be months before the selected staff could actually take up the posts. I am reliably informed that existing staff have been told, no, ordered, not to speak to the media and I guess that explains the lack of informed public input on Sunday morning. Why are the staff being gagged? What are HSSD so afraid of? The new Board, despite Deputy Dorey's fine words on his election, seem totally powerless to either sort out the problems or to take back control of the organisation. It will all come out eventually and I for one hope the Press will dig deeper to get at the truth, despite the drawbridge being raised and barriers being so swiftly erected by HSSD.

No More Waffle

Watcher, I too listened with interest and increasing anger. I was particularly enamoured of Deputy Storey's ill conceived notions of why the nurses on De Sausmarez had morale issues. He reckoned it was because they were not all au fait with the new computer system. What? NO MATE its because people like you who have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about presume to try and pull the wool over people's eyes. You are as transparent as you are ill informed. I would love you to spend a day on a busy ward and, having put your calculator down for two seconds, done a bit of hard labour with the caring profession.

He then went and suggested that if you have private insurance you will get treated exactly the same as us plebs who don't have gold fenced plans, give us a break mate!

As for the no problem of dirty surgery beds versus clean surgery beds issue, which Deputy Storey managed to fudge his way through - puerile waffle once again Mr Storey. Try and get your facts right.


Interesting how the 'get rid of Hunter Adam' brigade have gone quiet - sound like the same tune being played in HSSD to me!

The only way I can effectively see this department organised properly is for Deputy Storey, the rest of the board and the top Civil Servants at HSSD to get up from their desks and spend a few months on the 'shop floor' and see what things are really like and what needs and surpluses are.

Nursie's post above is spot-on; the unbelievable wastage that goes on just in buying basic disposables is unreal.

A very good friend of mine used to be involved in an engineering position at the hospital and he said the unbelievable waste he saw when buying parts (i.e. not shopping around or using sheer buying power to get discounts) as well as what was purchased, would make anyone angry.

The amount of computer equipment that is simply dumped without repairing (i.e. faulty hard drive and the whole laptop is binned) beggars belief.

When it comes to spending tax payers money, the public does have a right to get annoyed at these things as The States are custodians of our cash and should be spending it wisely.

I think all this shouldn't be seen as a criticism of the great job the staff do but the blame has to sit squarely with upper management and finance directors as ultimately it is their job to ensure the tax payer is getting good value for money.