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Government fights bid to reopen rehabilitation ward at Overdale

Government fights bid to reopen rehabilitation ward at Overdale

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Government fights bid to reopen rehabilitation ward at Overdale

Wednesday 12 January 2022


The Government is opposing a Senator's call to reinstate the full suite of stroke and injury rehabilitation services at Overdale’s Samarès Ward.

Next week, the States Assembly is due to debate a proposal from Senator Steve Pallett calling for the Samarès Ward to reopen no later than 1 March, either at Overdale or another suitable location.

The politician is also calling for Health Minister Richard Renouf to make sure that a purpose-built rehabilitation unit offering the full suite of stroke and injury rehabilitation service facilities and beds formerly offered at Samarès Ward is delivered as part of the development of a new hospital campus at Overdale, or at another suitable location.

However, ahead of that debate, Deputy Renouf has lodged his own amendment, which commits to a “progress report” by 1 March but removing references to the reinstatement of Samarès Ward.

Pictured: St. John Constable Andy Jéhan is one States Member who has voiced his support of Senator Pallett's proposition.

The ward – within the Westmount Centre at Overdale – has been the main base for stroke and head injury rehabilitation since the building opened in 2004.

However, it was closed in May 2020 to create more space for potential covid patients, with existing services moved to Plémont Ward at the General Hospital. This later became a permanent fixture, as focus moved to plans for the new hospital at Overdale and how habitation services would be provided there.

However, many patients have complained that the move to Plémont Ward has been a retrograde step, and also the services provided in the new hospital don’t appear to match those of Samarès. 

In his amendment, Deputy Renouf writes: “It is recognised that, due to the different setting, the unsettling effect of the move and the impact of the on-going pandemic, the care and rehabilitation experience on Plémont Ward has not been as good as it should have been for every patient since the move.”

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Pictured: Samarès Ward, which is within the Westmount Centre at Overdale, stopped being a rehabilitation facility in May 2020.

He adds: “Considerable improvements are being made on Plémont, including physical improvements to the environment on the ward, the re-establishment of an activity co-ordinator and a laundry service for patients. 

“Ideas for new services were gathered as well and as a result, some new ways of providing a better experience are being introduced, for example a care passport has been developed and is being launched within the next three weeks. 

“The passport is a personalised document for each patient and will be made available to patients at discharge from hospital with details of their care including appointment dates and details for rehabilitation services to be received at home or in the community.

“The programme of work currently being undertaken includes the establishment of three new consultant posts, one specialist stroke consultant and two frailty consultants. These are new posts which had not been available before at Overdale or the General Hospital and will considerably contribute to a wider rehabilitation service.”

The minister says that Senator Pallett’s call for Samarès Ward to be reinstated by 1 March would not be “operationally possible”.

He argues: “The identification of and the move to an alternative location would distract clinical staff from the improvement work and the design of the future service, as they would need to find/assess a suitable location, contribute to and support the move and develop new operational procedures to ensure care is being provided safely in a remote location from the General Hospital. 

“Wider impact on other services would be expected as well (clinical and non-clinical support services, such as diagnostics, pharmacy, facilities management). This would take considerable time that would otherwise be invested to look after patients and to work towards a person-centred model of rehabilitation.

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Pictured: Health Minister Richard Renouf: "While Samarès Ward provided a very pleasant environment, its rehabilitation services and clinical oversight were not state of the art as maybe perceived by patients." 

“The replication of Samarès Ward as part of the new hospital would, in addition to the considerable costs and workforce changes, reverse the improvements already made and planned and establish by default a rehabilitation function for the long-term that is determined by beds and a physical environment and not by a patient-centred approach that focuses on patient needs and includes clinical guidance and expertise.”

The Health Minister adds that Samarès Ward was not a good as some patients might think.

He says: “While Samarès Ward provided a very pleasant environment, its rehabilitation services and clinical oversight were not state of the art as maybe perceived by patients. 

“The detached location of Samarès Ward from the General Hospital caused many issues, such as patients had to be transported down to the General Hospital for diagnostics or had to wait longer for a consultant visit due to the consultant having to divide their time between two locations, or had to be transported down to the General Hospital for an outpatient-clinic to see the consultant. 

“In addition, Samarès Ward only provided services for certain groups of patients who needed rehabilitation, often this excluded those with more complex needs. 

“Having an integrated rehabilitation service in the new hospital available to all patients will ensure that rehabilitation services are provided based on patient-needs and in whatever way required, starting with admission and throughout acute care whilst also supporting a smooth transition to home or a community setting with appropriate follow-ups.”

Concluding, the minister writes: “The replication of Samarès Ward as part of the new hospital would, in addition to the considerable costs and workforce changes, reverse the improvements already made and planned and establish by default a rehabilitation function for the long-term that is determined by beds and a physical environment and not by a patient-centred approach that focuses on patient needs and includes clinical guidance and expertise.”

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Posted by Denise Shrives on
If the Health Minister had ever suffered a stroke, had a hip, knee replacement or suffered any other trauma which needed Samares Ward or physio in the hospital pool, he might not have made or will make any more silly comments ! The new hospital needs these facilities. Whilst writing I can say that the Jersey Care Plan IS NOT WORKING ! An elderly gentleman was sent home after a few days in hospital being told some one will be with you in the morning, 7 weeks later and no one had been to this poorly man who was living on his own. He ended up back in hospital and is now in a care home waiting for this so called Jersey Care Plan to kick in so that he can go back to his own home.
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