Thursday 1 September 2011

Another own goal

It is strange how certain figures stick in one's mind. I can still recall that I paid Ilien's Cycle Shop £17.10 shillings when I bought my bike which I still ride today. I can also remember the price of my first car. 

When going through the amendments to the Business Plan and in particular amendment P2011/10 I noted the figure of £1.7m. This is the sum of money which is being requested by the Treasury Minister for urgent capital works to be carried out at Clinique Pinel. 

The £1.7m figure sprung to mind because on 7th June during Oral Question Time I asked the Health Minister the following question:

"Given that a hospital consultant and 2 middle-grade doctors have performed no clinical work since October 2006, December 2008 and August 2009 respectively and a fourth middle-grade doctor is undertaking restricted duties only, will the Minister state how many different locum doctors have been employed to do the work of the 4 affected doctors and what is the cost of these locums to date?"

The Minister gave the following reply; 

"The Health and Social Services have engaged 32 locums to cover these 4 doctors while they have been on restricted duties or unable to undertake clinical work. I have been advised that the cost of this locum cover since 2006 has been approximately £1.77 million."

Readers will recall that I have devoted a considerable amount of time attempting to stem the flow of money gushing from the Health Department due to the large number of its staff who have been suspended or placed on restricted duties. One must therefore ask what has the Treasury Minister been doing to allow the Health Minister to be wasting money on suspensions when that money could have been better used to carry out work at Clinique Pinel. 

This becomes even more pertinent when one reads the report in support of the amendment because it was in 2009 that an application was made ( presumably from the Health Minister to the Treasury Minister) for fiscal stimulus monies to upgrade Clinique Pinel and Rosewood House.

However the money allocated was spent solely on Rosewood House due its more urgent need. If the need was so vital one may ask what steps were taken to find alternative funding or better still where money could be saved.

Repeated questions have been asked about the suspended personnel and the money being spent on locums yet it appears that both Ministers were oblivious to the wanton waste of money being spent to pay for staff who were only to willing to return to full time duty.

We are often reminded of the need to eliminate waste yet here we have another fine example of own goals being scored.


  1. And what with Grahame Butcher having his fingers in the till it's no wonder Jersey is in the financial mess that it is.

  2. Senator Ozouf is so bad that I would wager £1.7 million that he cant even work the till. If the Home Affairs minister can show you up then its time to go..