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Gov: We got the rehabilitation staff resignation numbers wrong

Gov: We got the rehabilitation staff resignation numbers wrong

Friday 14 January 2022

Gov: We got the rehabilitation staff resignation numbers wrong

The apparent exodus of Health’s rehabilitation staff last year isn’t as bad as it looks, according to the Government - because they got the figures wrong.

Responding this week to a request made under the Freedom of Information Law, the Government stated that 24 occupational therapy and physiotherapy staff resigned last year - but last night clarified the actual number was seven.

A spokesperson said the erroneous figure was down to “human error”. Express has asked for clarification as to how the mistake that led them to quote a figure around three times higher than the true figure arose and is awaiting a reply.

“Some of the reasons for their resignation included retirement, leaving the Island and leaving to work within other roles in HCS,” they added.

It came as the figures garnered a number of concerns from the public and politicians alike, with some linking it to the upcoming States Assembly debate on whether Samarès Ward should reopen at Overdale to provide a dedicated rehabilitation centre for islanders recovering from stroke and head injuries.

Overdale entrance.jpeg

Pictured: The mistake came ahead calls to reopen Samarès Ward at Overdale.

The proposition was brought forward by Senator Steve Pallett, a former Assistant Health Minister, after hearing what he says were many, many stories from islanders who believe the rehabilitation they are receiving is inadequate.

Constable Andy Jehan has also voiced his concerns about rehabilitation services having “reduced” since the closure of Samarès Ward - a view which Caroline Landon, the Director General for Health and Community Services, rejected.

“Patients are going days without having physiotherapy,” the Constable said. “It’s not the same joined-up team effort. I think the staff are doing their best in difficult circumstances.” 

However, Chief of Allied Health Professions Dr Cheryl Power said that their rehabilitation services were “operating as normal.”

She continued that “there are no gaps within our rehabilitation services and the number of physiotherapists and occupational therapists within the Department is at a level where we can provide safe services to Islanders. 

“There has been no impact on the day-to-day running of the services due to these vacancies.

“We are currently making improvements to the Island’s rehabilitation offering to ensure that care is holistic and patient-centred.

“It is important to note that we offer rehabilitation within all Hospital wards and on the 14-bed Plémont Rehabilitation Unit. This support is the same as what was on offer on Samarès Ward.”

She also noted that “patients are only discharged from hospital when it is safe to do so,” and that in some cases, “returning home is in a patient’s best interest”, as it helped them retain their independence, avoid infection risks at hospital and return to a “normal way of life.”

Dr Power admitted that the environment of Plémont ward was “different” to Samares Ward, but said that works will shortly start to improve the physical environment on the ward and that "an activities coordinator is to be recruited to help patients feel engaged during their stay.”

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