One of the best parts of my job is getting to meet the wonderful and committed people that work both within my department and in the Island’s healthcare sector more widely.
Since I’ve come into post, I’ve been lucky to visit some talented and dedicated healthcare teams and organisations, including the Hospital Pharmacy, the Memory Assessment Clinic, and the Visual Impairment charity EyeCan.
It’s important that I get out and about to meet healthcare workers, so I can hear first-hand about the work that they are doing, the challenges they are facing and what they think needs to be done to make sure Islanders get the care and support they need.
Most recently, I was lucky enough to meet the Alcohol and Drugs Service team, at Maison Le Pape. This amazing team provides free and confidential treatment in the community for Islanders with moderate and severe alcohol or drug dependence issues. They also offer support to family members, friends and partners of those with an alcohol or drug issue.
It was humbling to hear from this dedicated team, who speak with passion about the work that they do, and the services that they offer.
During our meeting we discussed how the demand for the service and the needs of those that they support continues to change. We need to make sure that the service can remain agile so that it can continue to best help Islanders and their loved ones in overcoming alcohol and drug addiction.
It was also interesting to hear about the service’s comprehensive detoxification programme and how they work with other agencies to ensure that service users have access to a full body of support.
And I found it especially enlightening to hear their thoughts on the types of policy changes they think we could take as a government, to help reduce excessive drinking in Jersey. This is an extremely important topic because, as we know, Islanders typically consume higher levels of alcohol in comparison to other jurisdictions, such as the UK and France.
This visit has given me a truly valuable insight into the work the Alcohol and Drug Service does and has given me plenty of food for thought.
I’m looking forward to the other visits that I have lined up in the coming weeks which will help me to get a well-rounded view of Jersey’s health and care system. I’m also keen to hear from other departments and organisations about the work that they do – if your team or organisation would like me to pay a visit, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by contacting my Private Secretary, Ben Markwell-Sales, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.