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Long-term future of Child Development Centre uncertain

Long-term future of Child Development Centre uncertain

Friday 01 October 2021

Long-term future of Child Development Centre uncertain


Politicians and the Children’s Commissioner have said they’re worried about the long-term future of a facility that helps around 1,000 children every year with services ranging from physio to speech and language therapy.

To enable the construction of a new hospital at Overdale, Jersey’s Child Development and Therapy Centre is due to move to Les Quennevais for five years.

However, its permanent home for beyond that date has not been confirmed, and a replacement does not feature in service plans for the health campus at Overdale.

The centre is currently based Overdale's William Knott building and underwent a £2.4m refurbishment in October 2018 following consultation with children and families. It went on to be highly commended in the Jersey Design Awards 2019.

Senator Kristina Moore - who is leading a group of politicians tasked with reviewing the new hospital project - told Express that while the team at the facility told her panel that they are "comfortable" with the Les Quennevais site, she would like clarity on the service's longer term future.

"After that period of time at Les Quennevais comes to an end, when some services will move back, that's one of the units that will not be provisioned for in the new hospital," she said.

She added: "We're told it will be provided in the community, but they don't know where," she added, going on to lament the "lack of planning of that next step or next stage for community provision and how that will be delivered for people."

kristina-moore.jpg

Pictured: Senator Kristina Moore aired "concerns" that there was no plan for the Child Development and Therapy beyond its five-year temporary stay at Les Quennevais.

Senator Moore said staff at the centre had told her panel that they had been assured it would stay as one centre, rather than being split up.

However, she has said it is endemic of even greater issues around services not being factored into the new hospital plans, saying that there is "a lack of clarity about the cost" of relocating the centre again after Les Quennevais.

Senator Moore further highlighted that this will not form part of the current £804m budget for the new hospital, and that "there will be further costs down the line that will require further funding" beyond the project.

Deborah McMillan @OCCJersey

Pictured: Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan said she was "concerned" there could be problems for families who want to access services.

Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan added: "I had the pleasure of opening the centre, which was refurbished after lengthy consultation with children and their families.

"It is an amazing resource and one that is valued by Jersey families.

"I am concerned that the move to Les Quennevais might mean that there will be access problems for families, and also that the five-year temporary solution might turn out to be more than five years, and that the resource will be inferior to the one currently provided."

Express has contacted the Government for comment and is awaiting a response.

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