Serviced apartments offer home comforts to Island patients

Friday 20 January 11:59

Jersey patients travelling to Southampton for hospital treatment are to benefit from new arrangements for accommodation provided by the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD).

From the start of 2017, rooms in five serviced apartments will be available for Islanders who need accommodation while they are receiving treatment at Southampton General Hospital. Around 170 people from Jersey were referred to Southampton last year, the majority for radiotherapy treatment for cancer, involving the need to spend four to six weeks on the mainland.

Previously HSSD has used Jury’s Inn Hotel in Southampton, but the new facility has been set up in partnership with ESA Serviced Apartments, in response to feedback from patients seeking a more homely alternative to a lengthy hotel stay.

“Patients were telling us that while the hotel option was perfectly adequate, it did not provide the features and comfort they would like for long periods away from home,” said Piers Andrews, Divisional Lead - Operational Support Services for HSSD.

The two-bedroomed apartments are in the Ocean Village marina complex, which is a 15-minute journey from Southampton General using the Daisylink shuttle bus. The apartments have kitchen facilities, communal areas inside and out, Freeview TV and wi-fi, while Ocean Village has a range of facilities including restaurants and retail outlets. Courtesy airport collection and an induction to the apartment will be provided by a guest relations executive from ESA, and patients who need to be in the UK for more than a week are eligible for a £10 daily subsistence allowance to help with the cost of food.

“As well as the vital treatment they are receiving, it is important that people feel comfortable in their surroundings and can relax during the periods they aren’t in hospital,” Mr Andrews added. “After a lot of research and a pilot stay by one affected family, we are satisfied that the move to Ocean Village will be a major improvement for the vast majority of Islanders who go to Southampton.”

The new facilities have already been visited by the Jersey Cancer Trust, which represents Islanders with cancer and their families and funds the cost of the Daisylink bus service in conjunction with partner charity the Wessex Cancer Trust.

“I was very impressed with the facilities inside the apartment and the environment at Ocean Village, as well as the personal welcome that all those who stay there will receive,” said Colin Burgess, Chairman of the Jersey Cancer Trust. “I think it will considerably enhance the experience of patients and those who travel with them.”

Switching to the new accommodation will also benefit some of the parents of children who receive treatment in Southampton, who have previously been reliant on support from charities or their own resources in obtaining accommodation when accompanying their children. When there is spare capacity, rooms in the apartments will be made available to parents.

Charlie Turner, CEO of ESA Serviced Apartments said:

"We are delighted to be working with Jersey’s Health and Social Services Department to provide a bespoke accommodation solution for patients and their families. Delivering an exceptional experience for guests is our priority at ESA, so collaborating with an organisation that offers the highest standard of patient care makes perfect sense. Our objective is always to achieve best value for our clients, while satisfying the needs of our guests. By providing a relaxing home-from-home environment, we hope patients will have one less thing to worry about during treatment.”

HSSD is trialling this new accommodation solution for patients as part of an extended pilot scheme and will continue to monitor feedback from patients in order to provide the best long-term solution for Islanders. 

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