The St Helena Health and Social Care Portfolio is committed to delivering high quality, safe care for all our patients and as such is putting in place a Transformation Programme for Health Services on the Island.

The Health Services Directorate recognises that there is more that can be done to improve our services for patients. The Transformation Programme is a part of our Fit for the Future Programme and will build on existing work to transform patient care and experience over the next five years in partnership with staff, patients, carers and local and external partners.

Whilst the Transformation Programme will make the changes that are needed to improve patient care in the long-term, continuous improvement on a daily basis will be encouraged to ensure our patients receive the right care in the right place and at the right time.

Why do we need a Transformation Programme?

As a small remote Island we face some significant challenges which make it difficult to always deliver the standard of patient care to which we aspire.  In addition more patients are using our services. Our patients’ needs are also becoming more complex which means they require longer periods of treatment or more support to return home. 

The Health Services Directorate strives to maintain patient safety and is always looking to make improvements where possible

Portfolio Director of Health & Social Care, Michele Wheeler, explains:

“For our Health Services to flourish, a cycle of continuous improvement is required. The Directorate needs to be agile, to respond to needs and changes in demand as well as to ensure operational management is well embedded and effective, and where learning is acted upon.

“Our overall aim is to have a Health Service for the Island that is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We want to transform the way care is provided and our focus will be on embedding a safe, well-run and effective Health Service.”

The Programme will comprise several transformation projects that will help us to improve our patient care – from introducing new systems, processes and ways of working to make our care safer, to developing new services that better meet the needs of our patients requiring urgent care, cancer services or planned care.

In Year One of the Programme we will:

  • Enhance the existing governance structure, systems and processes for both corporate and clinical governance across Health and Social Care
  • Continue to develop our Clinical Strategy which  determines which clinical services can safely be provided on-Island and which need specialist off-Island support
  • Improve standards in clinical practice across all clinical disciplines and ensure policies and procedures continue to be  followed
  • Develop a Continuing Professional Development programme for all staff
  • Reinforce the importance of objective setting, supervision and support structures
  • Undertake an assessment of the non-patient facing clinical information and performance management systems required, procure and commence roll out of the systems
  • Continue to monitor a  register of medical and other equipment across health services and  maintain a replacement programme
  • Introduce a paramedic service to the Island and review and establish new ways of working  to ensure patient safety and efficient and effective service provision
  • Review medical team skills, ways of working and rotas.

The first clinical service to be reviewed and assessed as part of the Programme is the Orthopaedic Service. We recognise that there is currently no Orthopaedic Surgeon on-Island and we would like to reassure the public that efforts to recruit continue and remain a high priority for the Health Service. The Orthopaedic Surgeon will be a key role in this review which will include identifying new ways of working across the care pathway, ensuring processes work efficiently and policies and procedures are improved, implemented and embedded in working practices. The lessons learned will be rolled out across the other services.

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23 August 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470