In response to a question from Deputy David De Lisle, who wanted specifically to know about the number of patients on the orthopaedic waiting list, Health & Social Care president Al Brouard said 2,300 people were awaiting ‘a variety of interventions’ as of last month.
He apologised for not being able to provide a more up-to-date number, due to the recent outage of the patient records system.
At that time, 762 of those waiting were in need of orthopaedic treatment.
This was the largest category on the waiting list, with gastroenterology accounting for another large swathe of patients being kept waiting.
Delays are being primarily attributed to Covid backlogs and bed-blocking at the hospital.
‘The numbers have substantially increased during the pandemic, but fortunately not as fast as in the UK,’ said Deputy Brouard.
Deputy De Lisle also wanted to know average waiting times, but was not given that detail.
Deputy Brouard said that one of the ways of tackling the backlog would be ensuring that staff vacancies are filled, and so the Health president used this argument to back his call for more key worker accommodation to be provided as close as possible to the hospital.
Deputy Brouard said the latest figures showed HSC was having to employ 144 agency staff, up from 111 in November 2019. The increase had come about, he said, due to many permanent staff leaving the island during the pandemic and not coming back.
As a signatory to the requete, Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez pointed out that she was also very keen for key worker accommodation to be provided but not by building on the green field on the PEH site next door to the Duchess of Kent care home, now used as administration offices for HSC.
In the States pages 4 & 5