P&R President Criticises MSG Move
Plans to move the Medical Specialist Group into town have been slammed as ‘absurd and unacceptable in equal measure’.
Deputy Gavin St Pier says he can’t think of a single benefit to the public.
The Policy and Resources President says it is taxpayers money being spent on it, but any new building will be an asset for the MSG’s partners and that ‘strikes to the very heart of the new contract’ only recently agreed between the government and the specialist group.
He says he was extremely disappointed and frustrated to learn of the MSG’s planned move – saying the proposed location on Park Street ‘may actually degrade the patient experience’.
He cannot think of a single benefit for patients and says it is absurd and unacceptable in equal measure and while it may be in the interests of MSG partners it is definitely not in the public’s interest.
STATEMENT FROM DEPUTY GAVIN ST PIER
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, said:
“I was extremely disappointed and frustrated to learn of the MSG’s planning application to move its primary base to Park Street. The plans will not improve patient care one iota – and the location may actually degrade the patient experience. I cannot think of a single benefit from the point of view of islanders. As the MSG’s business model is entirely dependent on its largest customer, the States, to all intents and purposes you cannot get away from the fact that it is taxpayers’ money received through its contract with the States being used to pay for a property that will be an asset for the MSG’s partners. And this, just at the time that we are trying to reduce the amount of property from which public services are provided. It is absurd and unacceptable in equal measure. It may be in the interests of MSG partners but it is definitely not in the public’s interest.
“But this is more than just bricks and mortar. It actually strikes to the very heart of the new contract with the MSG. The contract placed huge emphasis on a more joined-up health service with closer working between the MSG and Health & Social Care. This planned move clearly flies in the face of that commitment and is moving in the opposite direction. The ending of the MSG’s lease at its current home, Alexandra House, presents an ideal opportunity for the MSG to work hard with HSC to fully incorporate consultants within the hospital as fast as possible. Doctors working from and reducing their absence in a hospital makes perfect sense, after all – especially as some of them are already there now anyway.
“As such I was heartened to see the MSG’s statement today agreeing it is a laudable objective. However, where there appears to be some separation at this stage is on the potential timescales for such a move. Co-location is something the States of Guernsey is absolutely committed to working with the MSG to achieve as soon as possible. HSC is confident this can be achieved by the time the MSG needs to leave Alexandra House, and both parties will have the full support of the Policy & Resources Committee to enable co-location as quickly as possible.
“Clearly the purchase of new premises would result in the status quo remaining for many years. This is unacceptable and I would urge the MSG to display similar commitment to working together to progress a co-location solution, and as such withdraw this application.”