THE rollout of plans to provide more healthcare in the community has been ‘paused’ to allow for a review of progress made so far, money spent to date and an assessment of how it fits in with the new Hospital project, the Health Minister has confirmed.
Deputy Karen Wilson said that during the election campaign Islanders had expressed ‘concerns and a lack of understanding’ about the JCM, and she had now halted any further work to give ‘assurance that it has been subject to ministerial oversight’.
The JCM proposed delivering services historically provided in a hospital setting in the community in locations across the Island over the next few years.
In a letter to the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel, Deputy Wilson said that a ‘desk-based review’ would be carried out to identify whether the care model was meeting its aims, costings and time-frames.
She said: ‘I can confirm I have instructed officers to “pause” the JCM programme of work to allow time for myself and the Council of Ministers to review activity to date, including progress and spend, against the original JCM objectives. I also wish for consideration to be given to the impact of all JCM activities and its relevance to the Our Hospital project.
‘During the pause we will continue to provide services which are currently being provided to patients under this framework, as well as support the ongoing work to deliver, for example, a dementia pathway. All other development has been paused.’
The minister said that the review would allow her to assess ‘both the activity to date and planned activity’ and, having done that, to ‘be in a position to determine how best to move forward’.
A 2020 Scrutiny review criticised the proposals contained within the care model for their inflexibility, lack of detail and potential costing of around £679 million by 2036.
It added that GPs had not been properly consulted and that those responsible for delivering the model were ‘not being held accountable for considerable slippage against previously promised actions’.
Deputy Wilson, in her letter, added: ‘Officers are currently preparing a desk-based review. Once this work has completed, I will then consider if any change may be required to any of those activities and how best to engage the public and providers in a conversation about any adjustments.
‘I expect the desk-based review to be completed in October 2022.
‘Once complete, I will then consider my response to the review and my proposed next steps i.e., my plan of action.
‘This will set out plans for public and provider engagement as required.’
The Minister added that, once completed, the review will be presented to the States Assembly alongside the plan of action.