Tuesday 20 December 2022
Following efforts in recent months to stabilise the health and care system in Alderney, after concerns during the summer about access to primary care, work has continued to develop a model that provides the services islanders need in a sustainable way.
The joint Guernsey and Alderney political forum, the Alderney Care Board, is overseeing discussions about health and care provision in Alderney, focusing on how the system can evolve following the acquisition of the Island Medical Centre in September 2022.
Changes are already being made to increase the availability of care for Alderney residents. The number of appointments available at the Island Medical Centre has been increased and all sessions are now bookable in advance, providing increased convenience for patients. A new ambulance contract for the island will take effect in January and clinical support for the IMC continues to be provided through Guernsey's Queens Road Medical Practice.
As detailed in the 2023 Alderney Budget, funding has been made available by the States of Alderney to ensure the continued delivery of primary care provision. This is in place while work continues on the development of, and transition to, a new model of care.
In the meantime, steps will be taken where appropriate to reduce the revenue pressure on Alderney's government. The Alderney Care Board believes it is essential that funding arrangements are fair and transparent, and that any fees reflect the costs of delivering care.
Fees at the IMC will increase from 1st January 2023 to reflect rising costs. This is the first fee increase in several years and costs rises for the community are being kept to a minimum - for example a GP (pay on the day) appointment will increase from £50 to £55, with a nurse (pay on the day)consultation rising from £32 to £35.
Mr Carter, Chairman of the States of Alderney's Policy & Finance Committee and Member of the Alderney Care Board, said:
'While providing health and care to 2,000 people is a challenge, the scale also provides real opportunity to bring separate providers together and redraw how and where care is delivered to improve experiences for islanders and ultimately make the whole system more sustainable and more resilient. We are having active discussions about possible further changes which could be made, which will inform a programme of work for 2023.'
Deputy Mark Helyar, Chair of the Alderney Care Board, said:
'Significant progress has been made in recent months following the period of uncertainty during the summer around primary care provision in Alderney. Increasing the resilience and capacity of the Island Medical Centre, with the support of Queens Road Medical Practice, and supporting efforts to secure a new contract for a professional ambulance service are two success stories, but we have much more work to do to ensure Alderney benefits from a health and care model that is sustainable in the long term. The States of Guernsey and States of Alderney will continue working in partnership with further developments planned for 2023.'
The Alderney Care Board's 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.