£500k increase for mental health proposed
1st December 2021
The Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel has lodged two amendments to the proposed Government Plan 2022-25. The first intends to increase funding for mental health services by £500,000 in 2022 and the second to apply safeguards to the Jersey Care Model (JCM) and its current source of funding – the Health Insurance Fund (HIF).
The first amendment, which proposes that the Government reallocate £500,000 held in the General Reserve for Covid-19 to mental health services, intends to assist services which are experiencing increased pressure due to the pandemic. This additional funding will help to address the backlog of referrals for services such as Jersey Talking Therapies, and target areas in particular need of support such as the Listening Lounge.
The second amendment seeks to ensure the successful delivery of the Jersey Care Model and the prioritisation of its digital projects, safeguarding against further delays. The Panel also aims to ensure that the Government is fully transparent in detailing future transfers and refunds from the Health Insurance Fund.
Chair of the Health and Social Services Panel, Deputy Mary Le Hegarat, said: "These amendments highlight a number of concerns which we hope that the Council of Ministers will take on board and seek to rectify within the Government Plan. The first points to the significant need for additional funding in mental health services which, despite being heightened by the pandemic, has become less of a priority when it comes to Government spending.
"In the second, we have sought for greater transparency and safeguards for the Jersey Care Model and its source of funding from the Health Insurance Fund. In 2020, the Assembly was promised that a review of the HIF and sustainable healthcare funding would be undertaken in 2021 so that, at the time that the Government Plan for 2022-2025 was debated, there would be further information available before more funds were withdrawn from the HIF. This has not been forthcoming.
"Furthermore, over the past year, there has been a lack of progress in areas which are vital to the success of the Jersey Care Model, such as the work on the Digital Care Strategy, the JCM digital systems, and the establishment of the independent oversight board. If approved, these amendments will demonstrate the Government's commitment to using public funds to improve and rebuild confidence in Jersey's healthcare system."
Back to news