Project Underway to Give Jersey’s Health and Social Care Providers and Service Users Greater Say in Decision Making

Monday 22 May 11:44

Patients, the public and all organisations involved in the delivery of health and social care in Jersey, will become more involved in the strategic decision making for health and social care services if the States Assembly approve plans being worked up by a range of organisations and representatives from the Health and Social Services department.

The project which began in July last year, brought a wide range of interested  organisations together in a series of  workshops  to consider how people involved in health and social care provision and patients and the public could have more of a “voice” in the strategic decision making about how to  develop new, and  enhance  current services, as  part of the  delivery  of the  Transformation Programme set out in P82/2012, “Caring for Each Other, Caring for Ourselves”.  

The governance review concentrated on strategic decision making and governance across the whole system of providers of health and social services. The project  group also  looked at a wide range of health and social care governance  models from around  the world  in order  to  identify  what  might  work  well for  Jersey and  informed the development  of the  proposed way  forward

Speaking about the need for the governance review, Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green said: “Over the last few years, because of the way we are re-designing the health and social care system,  I recognise that we work much more in partnership with others who provide health and social care than we used to. In addition to this, we also know that we need to listen to patients, and the public as part of our decision making.

“The way we work currently, even though we do a great deal to try to include and involve others who provide health and social care, isn’t ideal as they cannot formally be involved in the decision making process. We are keen to change how we work and make strategic decisions so that we recognise everyone’s contributions and become more inclusive and open.”

“Led by my Chief Executive, Julie Garbutt, a group from across health and social care (including Primary Care, voluntary sector and patient representatives) have been developing a vision of what the future strategic governance model could or should be. We’re planning to take this to the States this summer, for their approval. I am really pleased with the progress made. Council of Ministers colleagues are supportive of the idea, and we have also been in contact with Scrutiny about the project.”

Senator Green added that the proposed new governance model is not aimed at reducing costs. “It will not impact on any terms and conditions of employment of staff  in the department, and it is not about changing the Ministerial role or changing the department which will remain a Department of the  States  of Jersey” he said.

The project was presented to the Council of Ministers 2 weeks ago, and a Report & Proposition is currently being finalised. Subject to approval by Council of Ministers, this will be lodged in the summer and debated in September.

The key features of the proposed model are:

•           Retention of the Ministerial role (the Minister is the ultimate decision maker for health and social care), and will also:

•           Strengthen our cross-system strategic governance (the way we make strategic investment decisions, including the use of P82 / ‘White Paper’ funding)

•           Improve transparency and visibility

•           Increase the voice of clinicians and professionals, public and patients, and the voluntary sector

•           Support partnership working across teams, organisations and the whole health and social care system

It is proposed that a System Partnership Board, which has representatives from the public, clinical and professional input and voluntary sector representatives as well as HSSD Corporate and Medical Directors will be established. The Board would have an independent Chair who will ensure that everyone has an equal say and all are encouraged to contribute to the discussion. The Chair will also be accountable, via a Memorandum of Understanding, for the successful delivery of the Board’s agenda and will provide an external assurance to the Minister and, ultimately, States members, about the work of the Board.

Three new or enhanced groups will be set up to ensure a broad range of views are represented, and to improve communication and engagement. These are:

•           Public and Patient Forum

•           Clinical and Professional Forum

•           Voluntary and Community Sector Forum

Julie Garbutt added: “I am really grateful to everyone who has invested a significant amount of time in this project. As an island where we have such strong links across health and social care organisations, which go well beyond the Health and Social Services Department itself, we need to be able to provide a much more inclusive and transparent forum for decision making. By doing this, we not only come closer together so we can share our expertise and experiences, it also allows us to focus in a united way on  our shared purpose, which is to provide the best health and social care we can for islanders.”

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