Rehabilitation Post Samares Ward. What Next?

27th April 2021 - A concerned member of the public.

In October/November 2019, Messrs Landon, Armstrong, Naylor, Sainsbury and others promoting the Jersey Care Model went on a Parish Hall Roadshow, and stated clearly that all services that were free of charge then would be free of charge in the future.
Now, reading the article below, you will see that what we were told then was not the truth.

Now, it is “User pays all.”

States members are often vote blind on propositions and amendments without having the full facts in order to make the correct decision before voting. Our New Hospital is another example of the mess that we are in. All the facts were not provided before the vote was taken. As the facts start to emerge we the public finish up with astronomically expensive disasters we just can’t afford.

This must not be allowed to continue. Somebody has to be accountable, and it's not the general public.

Samares Rehabilitation Ward at Overdale should not be closed. It should not be demolished.

It should be re-opened and it should continue the amazing and wonderful work it provided in the past, for the future, but free of charge as it was in the past.  

Whether you were young or old and were unlucky enough to suffer a neurological condition such as a stroke or an orthopaedic injury in Jersey, even 18 months ago, you would have been guaranteed first class and free rehabilitation in the Samares Ward at Overdale, irrespective of age or income. But come the Covid-19 epidemic Samares Ward was vacated, and patients sent to the General Hospital. The reasoning given being that it was needed for the rehabilitation of patients in the Nightingale Ward suffering from the Covid 19 virus following treatment on a ventilator.

Both the Samares Ward and the Nightingale hospital have been virtually unused ever since. So, what of the stroke patients who might have benefited from the first-class treatment since the Samares Ward was closed in May 2020, or those in need of rehabilitation in the future?

At present two small wards are available for them in Plemont Ward in the General Hospital with space for 12 patients (six men and six women) compared to the 28 patients in Samares. Patients are now given only 13 weeks hospital stay and there is no subsequent rehabilitation in Samares Ward. Instead, rehabilitation takes place at home for those lucky patients whose families can put together an approved care programme. Recovering patients who have no family, or a family that cannot cope, are moved to a States-approved home and paid for by the States.

If rehabilitation now takes place within the family home, without the necessary equipment or facilities, it is obvious that it cannot match the full-time care and professional guidance once provided at Samares Ward. But the situation gets worse.

What was once free treatment is no longer free.

An estimate puts the cost to the family at over £72,000 a year. This includes two carers for 3 hours a day plus the cost of neuro-physiotherapy for two hours a week. One hour of physiotherapy a week is free from the Hospital, but no-one seems to know how long this will last.

At the moment, patients in category 4 Long Term Care (LTC) are receiving £57,000 a year but this does not kick in until after the first year. The family, therefore, is not only having to finance the first year to the tune of £72,000 but even after that there is going to be a shortfall in funding from the States.

And what of the future?

Will something similar to the Samares Ward be in the new hospital when it comes into operation in 2026? It does not look like it. The Samares Ward, which was refurbished only a few years ago at considerable cost, is due to be demolished to make way for the new hospital at Overdale.

There is no provision in the Functional Brief for the new hospital for a rehabilitation centre that is in any way similar to the rehabilitation service that Samares Ward used to provide. Instead, it will be carried out in medical wards and there is to be NO Physiotherapy Department or Occupational Therapy Department in the new hospital to deliver it.

Is this acceptable and do our States members understand and agree with this situation, which is entirely in line with the Jersey Care Model (P114/2020).

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