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Rehab to move back to Samarès Ward while Plémont is upgraded

Rehab to move back to Samarès Ward while Plémont is upgraded

Tuesday 01 March 2022

Rehab to move back to Samarès Ward while Plémont is upgraded

Tuesday 01 March 2022

Rehabilitation services will return to Samarès Ward at Overdale in July while Plémont Ward undergoes a £2m refurbishment and redesign.

The move has been welcomed by the two backbench politicians who fought for services to go back to Samarès or an equivalent location, as well as the Stroke Association charity.

Care will move back to Samarès for six months while the Government replicates as much of the popular ward as it can at the General Hospital. 

Services will return to the fully refurbished Plémont Ward next January, in time for the demolition of Overdale, which will take place early next year, depending on the outcome of a planning inquiry due to take place next month.

The Government plans for rehabilitation services will move to a purpose-built unit in the new hospital in 2026.

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Pictured: Rehabilitation Services will move back to Samarès Ward in the Westmount Centre at Overdale for six months from July.

Until that time, the Government concedes that Plémont Ward will never be as spacious as Samarès Ward but it hopes that four new single rooms; two four-bed partitioned rooms; more social and activity space, including the creation of a day room and dining room; new equipment; and more personal and meeting space will win over patients and their families.

It also expects that new staff and services, including the recruitment of an activity coordinator, three new consultant posts for stroke and frailty, and a new ‘rehab passport’ to record a patient’s recovery path in one clear document will also prove popular.

It also stresses that being based in the General Hospital has further advantages, including access to around-the-clock care, the hydropool, services like radiography, and a wider range of specialists, such as the Mental Health and Memory Assessment teams.  

The updated Plémont Ward will have 12 beds, two beds fewer than Samarès or the current provision on Plémont. The extra beds will be found elsewhere in the General Hospital if they are needed.

The quality of rehabilitation services became a heated political issue in January when Senator Steve Pallett took a proposition to the States Assembly calling for care to return to Samarès Ward.

Both he and St John Constable Andy Jehan became the political voice of many stroke survivors and their families, who said that the quality of services – but not of care by staff – had declined significantly since they moved from Samarès Ward in May 2020.

Patients on Plémont complained of a lack of space, privacy, room to exercise, and equipment.

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CLICK TO ENLARGE: The current floor plan on Plémont Ward, including its two six-bed bays.

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CLICK TO ENLARGE: The new plan for Plémont Ward, which includes two four-bed bays. It will have 12 beds in total.

The Government looked set to fight Senator Pallett’s proposal but then changed its mind at the 11th hour, committing to find a solution.

Health Minister Richard Renouf, who shared the plan with States Members in the Assembly today, said: “We have always been committed to providing the very best care to our patients, but I accept that the current Plémont Rehabilitation Unit is in need of renovation to create a better environment for patients until we can move to the new hospital which will provide extensive rehabilitation facilities. 

“We will return to Samarès Ward while it is available for use and will use that time to carry out the improvement work in Plémont Ward.

“We have listened to Islanders, States Members and Health colleagues and understand what an important part the rehabilitation unit plays in a patient’s recovery. 

“We have considered a wide range of options, have carried out a gap analysis and have already implemented a variety of service improvements that are benefiting patients.

“I am pleased to see the good feedback from patients that we have received over the last few weeks. 

“I’m glad that we now have this detailed plan in place to ensure that we can enhance the physical environment on the rehabilitation unit while continuing to provide the best quality care.”

In response to the new plans, Senator Pallett said: “I am generally pleased with the commitments made, although I would have preferred rehabilitation services currently being provided at Plémont Ward not returning there after Samarès Ward finally closes later this year, but with the right input and oversight there is an opportunity to vastly improve on what is currently being offers on Plémont Ward.

“My proposition, which was unanimously approved by Stars Members, has forced the Minister into a £2m investment onto rehab services and a return to Samarès Ward at least in the short term. 

“There is a commitment to redesigning and refurbishing Plémont Ward by the end of the year. He has also given me a verbal commitment that service users and their families, along with third sector partners such as the Stroke Association, will be part of the redesign process and that I will also be allowed to contribute in the short term before the election.


Pictured: Senator Steve Pallett brought a proposition calling for rehabilitation services to return to Samarès Ward or an equivalent site.

“We are also aware that extensive rehabilitation services will be part of the new hospital and it’s important those involved in redefining Plémont Ward are also involved with the design of the rehab services in the new hospital.

“I accept that it’s vital that services such the Assisted Reproduction Unit currently located on Samarès Ward are not impacted as part of the reinstatement of rehab services, so this will inevitably lead to a short delay

“Moving forward, it’s important that the new States Assembly monitors progress to ensure that islanders are provided with the best possible rehabilitation services if, for example, they suffer a stroke or serious injury. 

“I want to thank the Connétable of St John for his support through this process as well as all those who have provided their own stories or experiences as a way of highlighting the concerns that so many islanders have over the current service on offer 

“It has taken a lot of effort to get the Minister and senior management team to listen and they need to start rebuilding trust with the public in this, and many other areas of health service provision.”

Constable Jehan said: “What is planned is very much better than what we have at the moment. We need to make sure that services which are currently provided at Samarès are able to continue, and it is important that services like the Assisted Reproductive Unit do not have to move multiple times. That is the reason for the delay.

“Rehabilitation services will be provided in a better venue at the General Hospital next year, and we have to be pleased at that. Of course, we would like Samarès to stay open throughout but what will be provided on 1 January 2023 will be much better than what was there on 1 January 2022.

“We have shone a light on the current services and with the size of the vote and the level of public support, the Government had to stand up and take notice. The solution is not ideal, but it is a step in the right direction.”

Jacqui Cuthbert, the Stroke Association's Associate Director for the South West and Channel Islands, described the decision as "a welcome step in the right direction for stroke survivors and their families."

"We look forward to working closely with the Health Minister and his team to improve the whole stroke pathway from prevention through to rehab and life after stroke," she added.


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