The Chief Minister has accepted Constable Andy Jehan's resignation from the Council of Ministers.
He has quit as Assistant CM over 'severe concerns' about the way the Health department, particularly the Health Advisory Board, is being run and what he calls an 'indefensible misuse of taxpayers money'.
He told Channel 103:
"I offered to resign in May over the cost of the Health Advisory Board, and I said that if the Interim Chair's contract was extended by one day then I would resign. The Health Minister indicated last week that she was looking to extend the contract, so I felt that I had no option other than to offer my resignation.
We have had an Interim Chair working three days a week and we have paid £250,000 over the last 11 months. Put that into context, that is £450,000 at full-time rates for 12 months, so it is a really expensive rate that we are paying.
We have also paid an additional £73,000 to an independent recruitment agency, and we still don't have a Chair.
I have been told that on very good authority that we had an excellent candidate for Chair, very highly regarded amongst the profession and somebody that could have attracted people to come and work for Jersey, so I am very disappointed that we have overlooked that opportunity."
Constable Jehan also has wider concerns about Health, citing the delay to the assisted dying debate and the Health Minister's 'reluctance to publicly endorse plans for new healthcare facilities'.
Asked if there needs to be a change at the top of Health, Constable Jehan said he would leave that for others to decide.
Accepting the resignation, the Chief Minister said in response:
"I am very much aware of the concerns you hold regarding the performance of our health service over recent years, which I share. We have a collective determination to deliver the improvements that are necessary. Your views on the leadership of the HCS Advisory Board – which we agree will be central to overseeing the progress we need – were known to the Council of Ministers.
I respect that your decision to resign following the extension of the Interim Chair of the Board is a matter of principle for you. I regret that we have arrived at a position where your resignation on this matter has been required. Your resignation is a loss to the Government."
It is with great regret that I have received Constable Jehan’s resignation. He brought extensive experience to the SEB and I valued his advice. He has resigned on a matter of principle & I respect his decision.— Chief Minister of Jersey (@ChiefMinJSY) November 26, 2023
Deputy Elaine Millar will now take the role as Vice-Chair of the SEB. pic.twitter.com/E1ZntfW8zn
Constable Jehan has been replaced as Vice Chair of the States Employment Board by Deputy Elaine Millar, whose workload will now include being the government spokesperson in the ongoing teachers' pay dispute.