Jersey plans for more community health care provision

Nurse on hospital ward examining a patient An ageing society will put more pressure on health and social care services

Plans are being made to provide more health care in the community and less in hospital in Jersey.

The Health and Social Services Department has been looking at ways to meet the challenges it faces in an ageing society.

James Le Feuvre, director of strategy, said more needed to be done to keep patients living in the community.

"Everything needs to move towards hospital care being a brief episode and hopefully getting people back out."

"That's what people tell us they want to happen," he said.

'Technology and treatment'

The number of islanders over 80 is expected to double in the next 25 years, putting more pressure on health and social care providers.

"It is going to be a challenge, that has to be said from the outset, but we're preparing early enough to be in a good place to cope with the changes.

"One of the ironies of the debate is that we're victims of our own success. We've kept people living longer, which is a great achievement.

"We can do more and more things for people, but advances in technology and treatment means inevitably that there's more expense."

The health department plans to step up the work it does with other agencies, such as Family Nursing and Home Care and the parishes, to support people living with medical conditions at home.

Mr Le Feuvre said: "There will be a need to invest in facilities directly within the hospital, but that should become really the basis of intense treatment when people absolutely require it, with lots more provision out in the community".

That includes working with GPs to support people with ongoing health conditions, such as diabetes or chest problems.

It is thought about 70% of hospital beds are used by people with long term conditions.

"There's a lot of indication that actually people can manage at home quite a bit longer if the right services are there to support them," said Mr Le Feuvre.

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