150 mental health referrals a month

ABOUT 750 Guernsey residents have been referred for mental health care in the first five months of this year.

HSC president Deputy Al Brouard. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29666236)
HSC president Deputy Al Brouard. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29666236)

In an update statement to States members yesterday, Health & Social Care president Al Brouard said: ‘Figures over the first five months of 2021 show on average 150 referrals per month across our six main mental health service areas.

‘On average, the duty and intervention team receives the greatest number of referrals and these are triaged based on the information provided by the GP.’

Deputy Brouard said his committee wanted to address shortcomings in the care offered to islanders through a ‘crisis centre pilot’ and that steps would be taken ‘to understand the experiences of service users and providers so that we can ensure that resources are directed where they will have the greatest effect’.

He advised members that psychological therapies were the only area within HSC with a waiting list for specialist interventions but this was now decreasing due to improvements in staffing levels.

Deputy Brouard was challenged by Liam McKenna to identify how high waiting lists for orthopaedic surgery had to go ‘before you realise there’s a crisis’, saying the number had climbed to 1,600 and had to be brought down as a matter of urgency.

‘The world is in a crisis,’ Deputy Brouard said. ‘We have to work and manage what we have. We did not bring Covid on ourselves.’

He reassured Deputy McKenna that HSC was triaging according to greatest need and ‘doing the best we can with what we have’.

He also reminded members that it was in their gift to give health a higher priority – and therefore greater resources – when they next debate the Government Work Plan, which is published today.

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