Care Sector Needs Funding To Relieve Hospital Pressure

The Jersey Care Federation says it needs funding to help ease the problem of 'bed blocking' in the island's hospital.

Figures from July show that 31 patients in the hospital are fit to be discharged, but can't because of a lack of community care.

HCS Interim Chief Officer Chris Bown says that it's a 'serious challenge'.

JCF chair, Cheryl Kenealy agrees.

"It's a two-fold problem, one with home care providers and care homes. There's not the problem with staff in care homes but there is a lack of beds.

The problem with home care is that we don't have the staffing to take on the additional packages to facilitate the discharge of people back into their own homes.

We can't take the extra work because we don't have the staff; we can't find the staff on island so we have to look overseas which is very costly."

Cheryl says the federation has spoken to ministers about helping the situation but it needs funding.

It's claimed that 50 more carers are needed to address the 'immediate issue' but they can't continue to absorb the costs of recruiting.

"We have an ageing population, people are going to get more frail and we will need to continue providing care.

When you look at the cost of bringing someone to the island, taking out any recruitment costs, just the fees alone is around £3,000 each.

Therefore for the 50 that are already here and the 50 that we need to bring over, we're looking at a cost of £300,000."

Despite the immense pressure on the industry, Cheryl doesn't think it is at risk of collapsing.

"The UK are investing heavily in the care sector, while we haven't had any investment.

We already have over 30 people bed blocking and that's in the summer. What will that figure look like when we get to winter?

Measures need to be put in place now to address what's going to happen in the future, we can't wait until there are 60 plus people bed blocking over Christmas."

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