Friday 11 November 2022
The first meeting of a new joint Guernsey and Alderney political forum, formed to discuss health and care provision in Alderney, took place earlier this week.
The Alderney Care Board will build upon extensive work carried out this year to stabilise the health and care system in Alderney. Its membership consists of Deputies Brouard and Matthews from the Committee for Health & Social Care, Ian Carter and Boyd Kelly from the States of Alderney with Deputy Mark Helyar acting as chairperson in his role as the Policy & Resources Committee lead on matters relating to Bailiwick relationships.
At its first meeting, the Board noted the challenges of providing healthcare on such a small island and focused on agreeing a set of priorities for the next few months. These priorities are:
- Working with providers to understand how to enable and support their priorities regarding how services are coordinated to best meet the needs of Alderney residents. This will mean thinking about what service providers deliver and how they interact with each other. The Board recognised that strong foundations already exist for the joint working needed between the private, public and third sectors. Work will take place with staff who have front-line experience of providing health and care in Alderney, while examining available data to help shape services accordingly.
- Ensuring sustainable funding arrangements moving forward. Significant cost pressures are anticipated in 2023 which need to be addressed. There is a shared understanding between the islands that health and care needs to be delivered differently and this provides an opportunity to consider the most cost-effective way of delivery while ensuring that arrangements are equitable to those in Guernsey.
- Communicating with islanders and stakeholders. A group of health and care providers - public, private and third sector - met with the Alderney Care Board to discuss the opportunities and challenges. There was significant enthusiasm for the future and ideas around how services could develop. Further engagement with the wider community will take place in 2023.
Mr Carter, Chairman of the States of Alderney's Policy & Finance Committee, said:
'The first meeting of the new Alderney Care Board marks an important next step in Alderney and Guernsey's collective efforts to develop a more resilient and sustainable model of health and care in Alderney. The two islands have worked closely and successfully this year to overcome a number of challenges, particularly around the delivery of primary care to islanders, and the Board will ensure further changes are made for the benefit of the community.'
Deputy Helyar said:
'A large part of our work alongside the States of Alderney this year has been focused on encouraging providers to work closely together to shape service offerings. The successful acquisition of Island Medical Limited was the first step and the Alderney Care Board will be an important vehicle in continuing to foster joint working across both islands and all providers. We had a very positive first meeting and it is clear all those involved are pulling in the same direction in recognition of the need for changes to ensure health and care in Alderney is placed on a more secure footing for the future.'