Focus on Mental Illness said they lamented ‘the lack of progress on the development of a suitable, safe, dignified and therapeutic environment’ for Islanders, and called delays to work on Clinique Pinel ‘unacceptable’, with people being cared for in ‘what can only be considered a building site’. The residential facility is for Islanders aged over 65 who have mental-health problem.
In its submission to the Health and Social Security Panel, the charity said that while some work had been carried out to improve Orchard House – an in-patient unit for adults with acute mental-health problems – it had been almost four years since health-and-safety inspectors recommended improvements to facilities in Jersey.
Responding, a Health and Community Services spokesperson said: ‘The safety and comfort of patients is our upmost priority. We apologise to any service user who has been affected by these necessary and significant works. To try to lessen the impact of the construction project, the works have been phased and weekly meetings are being held between the lead nurse, the contractor and Jersey Property Holdings to plan mitigation measures for upcoming noisy and disruptive works.’
HCS ‘is currently part way through a major building project to create a dedicated acute mental-health facility within Clinique Pinel at St Saviour’s Hospital’, the statement said.
‘This £7.3 million project includes extensions and internal remodelling to create 26 en-suite bedrooms, a place of safety on the ground floor, as well as seven refurbished bedrooms and a tribunal suite on the first floor. Works have taken longer than anticipated due to a number of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for additional substructure and survey works as well as the need to address legacy issues associated with the existing building, which were not discovered until the works commenced.
‘Due to the unexpected delays, the contractor has asked for further time to complete the works. It is now expected that the project will be finished in September 2022,’ it added.
Once completed, Clinique Pinel will replace Orchard House and Cedar Ward, according to the government, which also said that in the longer term ‘a new dedicated acute mental-health facility will be co-located with the new hospital’.
The spokesperson added: ‘It is widely recognised that crisis prevention and community intervention are pivotal to ensuring more Islanders are supported sooner with their mental health and so do not require in-patient treatment. HCS is committed to ensuring that care is centred around the patient and that early interventions are in place to prevent Islanders’ mental health from deteriorating.’