Plans have been submitted to seek outline permission to develop key worker housing on the grounds of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
The Policy & Resources Committee, in consultation with the Committee for Health & Social Care, has submitted an application to establish the principle of developing accommodation which will help significantly to address challenges in the recruitment of health staff, which in turn has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of Islanders and the cost of delivering health services. The availability and affordability of housing, including for key workers, is a Government Work Plan priority as agreed by the States Assembly in June 2022.
There is currently demand for at least 66 new one-bedroom units and the majority of those who request staff accommodation are looking to be located as close as possible to their work, particularly where they work shift patterns and are on-call. There is also demand for two-bedroom and family accommodation but this is less dependent on being close to the hospital and can be provided for through the Guernsey Housing Association programme.
The majority of the Policy & Resources and Health & Social Care Committees believe this is the best practicable option as many areas of health and social care look to avoid reaching a crisis point as a result of recruitment and retention difficulties which are being experienced both on-Island and more widely, the British Isles.
Deputy Al Brouard, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care said: “We need to do everything possible to attract staff so we can continue delivering these essential services which are under more and more pressure. Being able to offer the right sort of accommodation in the right location is a big part of that.”
Deputy Dave Mahoney, member of the Policy & Resources Committee said: “There is a clear need to develop more of this kind of accommodation urgently and having listened to the professionals, the closer these units are to the hospital, the more they are likely to suit the demands and needs of staff and the more likely they are to support vital recruitment.”