Sunday, April 25, 2010

So what replies did I receive?

I think I have left it long enough for anyone who wanted to answer my email, so it is time to start posting the replies.....

Now all I have to decide is whose to post first, I think I will put my favourite one first and let you have a read and I will leave it till the next post to tell you why.

From: Sean Power (

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Sent: Thu 4/08/10 7:38 AM
To: lara luke
Cc: All States Members (including ex officio members) (


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Dear Mrs. Luke,
I voted against P.145/2009.
There has been a deal of investigation into the running of HSS on the Island in the four + years I have been in the States Assembly. I am now looking at my fourth Health Minister, the Deputy of Trinity, following the replacement of Senators Perchard, Shenton and Syvret in less than two years. The Chief Officer has "retired" and will soon be replaced.
There have been major reviews of the Department in the past three years. In addition, there was been a major SOJP investigation, a serious case review and the Williamson report. There are failures identified in the Primary Health care side of the Hospital and on the Social Services side.
Both are now being rectified. There has been so much political upheaval at Health that I have given the current Health Minister, and Deputies Noel and Martin my support. They have to turn round a Department that appears to have many failings and shortcomings. They must be allowed to get on with overhauling and improving a Department that is fit for purpose. This Department did not suddenly get into into the state it is in. It happened over a period of time.
A Committee of Enquiry might produce some new information. For me, the decision to vote against was simple. We need to fix the problems at HSS, politically and management, move on and get it to a place in Jersey life where it is held in high regard again. We could of course analyse the management of the Department in minutiae going back to the 70's, the 80's or the 90's.
None of the previous Health Ministers or Health Committee Presidents were minded to do that and Senator Syvret as Health Committee President for almost five years from 2000 to 2005 showed not the slightest inclination to express the need for a Committee of Enquiry on his seven year tenure in charge of this Department. He only started expressing concern for a short period in 2007 before the States voted to replace him as Health Minister. He appears to have been a contented member of the Council of Ministers for all of 2006 and some of 2007.
What has happened has happened. It was and is inexcusable and unacceptable. Going back in time, I would say the political leadership as well as management at Jersey HSS have also failed some very vulnerable younger members of society. I do not believe any number of historical investigations will achieve anything more than what we know now. The Health Minister will know what management were doing and what responsibilities they had in different Departments, including the problem ones. She has to deal with them and I believe she will.
Some of the political leadership and management that allowed these appalling decisions and actions to be carried out then are either retired now, have left the island or are dead. In terms of the public good, there will only be a small limited success in hauling these surviving people and perpetrators into the courts.
Some children were taken into care because of the break-up of the family unit or because of bereavement. Many others ended up in care because the system picked them up owing to the appalling dysfunctional behaviour of the parent or parents. The system did fail some of these. We must never allow it to happen again. There are ruined lives out there.
However, many good stories have also come out of Jersey's care system. Good work is carried out on a daily basis.
So, while bad has happened, it does not mean the whole system has broken down inexorably.

Yours Sincerely,

Deputy Sean Power,
Assistant Minister,
States of Jersey Housing Department,
P.O. Box 587,
St. Helier,
Jersey JE4 8XT,
Channel Islands, UK.
Direct Office: +44 (0) 1534 449029
Home +44 (0) 1534 744454
Mobile: +44-77977-67770
E-mail:; and;

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