Your leader of 25th June referring to the government’s approach to the Covid-19 crisis calls for “confidence to be inspired through words and deeds." Nowhere is that more important than in our General Hospital, where it has been reported that, “...fewer than 50% of patients are turning up for appointments."
I took-up this issue with the Managing Director of the hospital, Mr Rob Sainsbury, who took 5 days to respond to my very simple question: “Please can we get a clear statement to the public that the hospital is open?” saying that he would: “pass my comments on to the Director General and our comms lead for consideration." I went straight back to him saying: “The Urgent Treatment Centre – the UTC is the issue.
It inhibits people getting into the hospital as, due to it, there is effectively no Outpatients Department and the Parade Entrance is closed, neither of which encourages the public to go to the hospital. Unsurprisingly, therefore, your bed occupancy number is reduced and by keeping Samares Ward at Overdale empty you are preventing rehabilitation. This, together with the number of outpatient appointments cancelled, or re-scheduled, demonstrates that we currently do not have a working General Hospital service.”
With the main entrance to the hospital on The Parade barred off with dramatic, green Covid 19 posters, the Outpatients entrance turned into a tented gateway and no working Outpatient’s Department, is it surprising that a headline said “half of Patients missed routine appointments this month”?
We have six Covid-19 active cases, all of whom are asymptomatic, having been discovered through the island testing programme. The actions required are to take down the posters covering the closed main entrance to the hospital, reopen up the main entrance to the hospital and remove the paraphernalia outside the Gwyneth Huelin entrance, placing the UTC (whose only function is to demonstrate a concept for the yet to be agreed Jersey Care Model (JCM) and justify the effective nationalisation of the island’s GPs’ by HCS) and put the UTC into the Emergency Department (ED), which apparently is working at about 50% of capacity.
Then, when the public can see that confidence really has been inspired “through words and deeds”, they will recognise that the hospital is open, and the patients will return.