Guernsey hospital ward closure and recruitment halt

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Guernsey's Health and Social Services Minister has announced the closure of two hospital wards and a halt on recruitment in a drive to make savings.

Deputy Hunter Adam said the department was set to have spent £2.5m more than its budget for 2012.

He said as a result, a surgical ward and theatre would close, as well as a mental health assessment ward.

Deputy Adam said some non-emergency procedures and treatments would be deferred from December to January.

He said that all patients due to undergo treatment or surgery in December would receive a letter from the department giving further details.

Deputy's plan

  • 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 week-days wherever this is clinically appropriate

As part of the announcement, Deputy Adam also said recruitment to vacant healthcare posts would be put on hold.

All measures will come in to force in December 2012 and will last until the new financial year begins in January, when they will be reviewed.

Deputy Adam said the department began examining its costs at the beginning of November 2012, when it anticipated an overspend of £1.5m.

He said: "Due to unavoidable pressures on services, it now looks like this overspend will be closer to £2.5m."

Deputy Adam said: "Due to ongoing budget reductions... my department no longer has the flexibility it needs to respond to peaks and troughs in demands for services."

He added that the demand for some services had increased markedly during 2012.

He said he would be requesting permission to present a report to the States of Guernsey requesting authorisation for the £2.5m overspend.

Following the announcement Deputy Mike Hadley called for a vote of no confidence in the health board.

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