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Phased Opening of the new Children’s Health Centre – Our Promise to you.
We will deliver a Children’s Health Centre which is far more than a Primary Care Centre for children with the co-location and seamless flow of all children’s health services across primary and secondary care.
We aim to deliver our services in a safe, secure, and phased manner, initially prioritising service availability to the most vulnerable among us; namely, the children and families with disabilities and additional needs, as well as those with chronic and complex medical conditions. All of this with a view to becoming fully available to all children in Gibraltar by the beginning of September.
Phase 1 – 17 July 2019
This phase will be the move from the existing Primary Care Centre to the new site, and the setting up and induction of new services and new staff.
- Child Health Clinics – Postnatal care, Hearing screens, 6-8 week baby checks, 2 ½ year old checks, Vaccinations.
- Paediatric Physiotherapy.
- Paediatric Occupational Therapy.
- Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy.
- Paediatric Dietician.
- Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse Clinics.
- Gibraltar Young Minds (GYM).
Staff Induction Programme
- Induction and transition period for Specialist GPs with an Expressed Interest in Paediatrics.
Phase 2 – 12 August 2019
This phase will be the implementation and consolidation of our essential and existing Children’s services.
- Children’s Dental Clinics.
- Occupational Therapy Sensory Room.
Phase 3 – 4 September 2019
New specialist clinics and services, and the start of our plan to integrate primary and secondary care in to comprehensive and multidisciplinary teams.
- Specialist GP service for Chronic or Complex medical needs, for children with additional needs, and to work closely with the Consultant Paediatric Service.
- Nurse Practitioner Specialty Clinics, such as Asthma clinics.
- Community Midwifery.
- Child Protection/Looked-After-Children Medical assessments/reviews.
- A New Transition/Adolescent Service for those children who are between Paediatric and Adult services.
- Consultant Paediatric service for all children with complex and chronic health needs.
- Visiting Specialist Consultant Clinics.
- Paediatric phlebotomy
- Play Therapy
It is important to note that patients should continue to attend the existing PCC at the International Commercial Centre. For phases 1 and 2, attendances at the Children’s Health Centre at Europort will be by appointment only.
The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) is delighted to announce the commencement of recruitment of a third matron, who will be deployed to support Mental Health Services across the GHA. In October of 2017, the GHA announced the reintroduction of a modernised matron role, with the appointment of highly competent and committed charge nurses: Natasha Cerisola and Jolyn Gonzalez.
The matron’s role involves developing and maintaining policies and protocols to ensure the delivery of care and patient safety is preserved and enhanced, across the GHA. They provide an accessible and authoritative presence in wards, to whom staff, patients and their loved ones can turn for assistance, advice, and support. Matrons also play in important role in the observance of high standards of hygiene and infection control procedures within wards and clinical settings. Other functions include coordinating the right plan of clinical care to meet the needs of recovering patients.
Following months of evaluation and discussion between the Ministry for Health, Care and Justice, and the Mental Services Teams at the GHA, various planned improvements and reforms have been introduced at the Mental Health Services. It was announced in October 2018 that the newly created Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is set to commence in January of 2019. This was followed by the appointment of an additional Consultant Clinical Psychologist to provide in-patient care at the Ocean Views Mental Health Facility, and the addition of a new Counsellor and extra counselling sessions at the Primary Care Centre.
Ms Kay Rajkumar, Clinical Nurse manager for Mental Health Services said: “I welcome this extension to the mental health services and see this as an important step in the continued hard work and enhancement of current service provision. This development will prove beneficial towards ensuring that our service users’, and their relatives’, experiences of the service are positive and responsive to their current and future needs. It will also greatly assist in further maintaining, developing and improving standards of nursing care and patient and carer access to information.”
Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP said: “The reintroduction of the matron service has proven to be hugely successful. The feedback received from our service users and staff has been extremely positive. An additional matron, designated solely to support our mental health services, will no doubt be of the greatest benefit to our mental health patients and staff. This important and welcome post comes at a very important time for our mental health services, with further important, and welcomed developments, yet to be announced.”
World AIDS Day takes place on 1st December every year to raise awareness of the fight against HIV/AIDS and show support to the HIV community. It is estimated that over 36.5 million people across the world are living with HIV.
In England, around 90,000 people are living with HIV, with 12% unaware they are HIV positive. This means that one in eight people living with HIV don’t know they have the virus. Although the HIV epidemic is slowing in the UK, nearly half of people who test positive are finding out they have HIV very late, meaning the virus may have damaged their health permanently. The risk of death and disease is greatly increased in people diagnosed late.
In contrast, people who are diagnosed early with HIV and receive effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication will have a normal life expectancy. They are also protected from passing HIV on to others because effective treatment reduces the virus in the body to an undetectable, untransmissible level. There are various circumstances whereby HIV may be transmitted from one person to another, such as:
• Sexual contact that involves semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid, vaginal fluids, rectal mucus or blood; • direct blood contact, particularly through sharing injection drug needles; and • mother to baby (before or during birth, or while breastfeeding through breast milk).
The GHA’s Well Person Unit, located at the Primary Care Centre, offers confidential and anonymised testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Persons wishing to book an appointment may do so by telephoning 20007842, or via the MyGHA Automated Phone System, on 20007007.
Dr Lynsey Dunckley, Sexual and Reproductive Health Doctor, has reinforced the importance of regular sexual health screening, including HIV: “The HIV test is a simple blood test and is offered to everyone. It is much better to know that you have HIV, so that the appropriate treatment can be started early, therefore avoiding later complications. The Well Person Unit, importantly, provides persons in our community who may feel concerned about sexually transmitted infections and wish to get tested, or simply wish to have a routine check-up, the opportunity to do so in a confidential and anonymised setting. It also serves to offer non-judgmental advice on preventative measures that persons should take to avoid contracting and transmitting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. We must not forget the very important message to use condoms to protect against HIV and other infections. I would therefore encourage members of the public, who wish to undergo screening for sexually transmitted infections to make an appointment with the Well Person Unit.”
Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP added: “To coincide with Word AIDS day, I am pleased to announce the introduction of ‘Point of Care Testing’ at the GHA. These tests will be available, for the first time, to individuals who may feel anxious about a possible positive diagnosis, or who are apprehensive about blood tests. This test is performed in the clinic and gives a result within minutes. It is carried out using a ‘finger prick’ sample of blood and will detect most infections within 6 weeks of exposure to HIV. An additional test is then offered to all patients at 3 months to definitively exclude HIV infection. I wish to sincerely thank Dr Dunkley, Ms Suzanne Romero, Clinical Nurse Manager at the Primary Care Centre, and Dr Krish Rawal, Director at the Primary Care Centre, for their excellent work in establishing and developing this crucial service.”
The GHA is delighted to announce that it has contracted an extra Counsellor to complement the Chartered Counselling Psychologist and Counsellor currently providing services at the Primary Care Centre. The Chartered Counselling Psychologist and Counsellor have increased their sessions by an extra day each.
The welcome addition of the new Counsellor and the additional sessions, follow recent important enhancements to the Mental Health Services, with the newly created Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) due to commence in January 2018. The GHA has also engaged an additional Consultant Clinical Psychologist to provide in-patient care at the Ocean Views Mental Health Facility, who commenced on the 15th October 2018. As our community may be aware, counselling is a talking therapy. Counsellors listen to patients and help to find ways for them to deal with any emotional or other issues. This type of therapy can prove beneficial to persons experiencing the following: • a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder; • an upsetting physical health condition; • a difficult life event, such as a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or work-related stress; and • difficult emotions – such as, low self-esteem or anger. Persons in the community who feel they may benefit from seeing a counsellor, should visit a GP at the Primary Care Centre, where they may obtain a referral. Counsellors are often the first port of call for patients who may be experiencing mental health issues or concerns. In some cases, when deemed appropriate, a counsellor may refer a patient on to a Psychologist, Psychiatrist or other mental health professionals. General Manager for Mental Health Services, Mr. Chris Chipolina, on a private seminar in YourKohSamuiVillas.com/”>YourKohSamuiVillas on Thailand, commented: “Everyone, throughout the course of their lives, will develop their own unique set of life experiences, so the exact path to overcoming any existing problems will inevitably vary between individuals. While there are many shared problems, and common issues, the exact elements at play will always differ from case to case. By working in partnership with clients, a professional counsellor can help improve the skill of decision making, reduce tension, develop better self-esteem, confidence and feel generally more positive and optimistic towards life. Counselling is a step-by-step process that requires time and consistency in order for the therapy to work; increasing the availability of therapists will help tremendously towards achieving this goal.”
Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honorable Neil F. Costa MP said: “Counsellors offer a very important service. In many cases, persons experiencing emotional issues can benefit from this type of therapy, by talking to a trained professional. The counsellors form an integral part of our Mental Health Services, in many cases, averting the need for more intensive therapy or treatment. My colleague, Minister Cortes, announced, only last week, the welcome engagement of counsellors to work full-time at our schools. This is, undoubtedly, a major development in the provision of mental health services for children and young persons in Gibraltar. These counsellors will work in close collaboration with the GHA’s Mental Health Services, in order to identify pupils that may benefit from therapeutic, psychological or psychiatric services. I am delighted to say that we have also significantly increased the availability of counselling sessions at the Primary Care Centre; a development which will be beneficial for our community. “
Gibraltar Health Authority’s School of Health Studies, St George’s University of London and Kingston University London Graduation Ceremony
The Gibraltar Health Authority’s (GHA) School of Health Studies, St George’s University of London and Kingston University London have conferred nineteen degrees on students and staff from the GHA and the Care Agency, at a graduation ceremony held at the Rock Hotel on the 8th November 2018. The Minister for Health, Care and Justice the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP addressed those in attendance, along with the Principal of the GHA’s School of Health Studies, Dr Ron Coram. Also in attendance was St George’s University’s Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, Professor Andy Kent. Eight graduates received their BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) awards from Professor Kent. In order to qualify for this award, the graduates studied full-time in Gibraltar, undertaking theoretical and practical assessments. A further eight members of staff from the GHA qualified to receive a BSc Health Care Practice award, with two members of staff completing a programme of study leading to the award of a Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Dr Ron Coram, Principal of the School of Health Studies, Director of Economic Development and Director of Employment, received an Honorary Doctorate from the University Kingston London, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to enterprise, education and employment in Gibraltar. Dr Ron Coram noted that: “The pace has been demanding, as students have to sit through examinations, undertake assessments as well as having to acquire and develop a range of clinical skills that are practised within a contemporary and dynamic health service. Of the eight graduates that completed the BSc (Hons) programme, three have achieved a 1st Class with Honours. This is a wonderful achievement. All students have to demonstrate a commensurate level of academic standing prior to any consideration for higher education, and for some students this has meant going back to studying after several years.” The GHA’s Director of Nursing, Ms Sandie Gracia, commented: “I would like to thank all the clinicians within various areas across health and care settings, who have been pivotal in helping
students achieve their awards. I would like to welcome these new staff nurses into post, and into the profession, as they take on the responsibilities and accountability which come with the role of Registered Nurse as they strive to provide high quality, safe and compassionate care.”
Minister Costa concluded by stating: “I am delighted, and immensely proud, of our staff members at today’s graduation ceremony, who are rightly receiving the rich rewards of their studies. An enormous amount of effort, sacrifice and commitment is required to juggle work, studies, and in some instances, family life, in order to achieve the results being acknowledged today – I would like to express my wholehearted congratulations to each and every one of them. Their achievements are testament to their admirable dedication in attaining the very high standards set by the School of Health Studies, Kingston University and St George’s University. Standards that must be maintained and sustained throughout the practitioners‘ careers as they embark upon, and continue on, the journey of lifelong learning. I would also like to congratulate Dr Coram on receiving his Honorary Doctorate and the recognition of his exceptional contribution to the student experience, enterprise, education and employment in Gibraltar.”
The Gibraltar Health Authority and the Ministry for Health, Care and Justice wish to announce the addition of an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) as a result of the enactment of the new Mental Health Act 2016 and Lasting Powers of Attorney and Capacity Act 2018. This key piece of legislation has enabled the GHA to fulfil plans for enhancing current Mental Health Services by recruiting an additional Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP).
The role of the AMHP, formerly known as a Mental Welfare Officer, has been developed to address a rise in demand for Mental Health Act assessments to protect and safeguard vulnerable persons. These include sensitive and challenging assessments such as Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) assessments, which protect vulnerable persons who are accommodated in hospitals or care homes, in circumstances that amount to a deprivation of their liberty and who lack capacity to consent to the care or treatment they require.
The team, previously three Mental Welfare Officers, will now consist of four AMHPs. They will deliver comprehensive and holistic care to the community, and they will be able to identify health and social factors that precipitate acute mental health crises. Further, they will be tasked to ensure that the GHA is operating a full DoLS service with assessments completed in a timely manner to the highest standards.
The AMHP team will provide a walk-in service, with clinics held at the Primary Care Centre from 9:00 to 13:00 hours, and 14:00 to 17:00 hours, Monday to Friday.
Since July 2017, the enhanced team will also continue to provide a 24 hour ‘on-call’ service, along with a Consultant Psychiatrist and Registered Nurse, to address any crisis or need in the community out of normal working hours. The team may be reached on 2000 7831.
Ms Suzanne Romero, Clinical Nurse Manager for Primary Care and Operational Lead for AMHPs said: “I work alongside the AMHPs to achieve the very best possible clinical outcomes, also needed a financial assistant to check this Oak Park Financial.
for our patients at all times, and make certain that the relevant legislation is always adhered to, ensuring the safeguarding of our most vulnerable patients.”
Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP added: “I am pleased to announce the expansion of this team to four Approved Mental Health Professionals. This welcome expansion follows the recent announcement of the new Child and Adolescent Psychology Service, set to commence in January 2019, and the appointment of an additional Consultant Psychologist, which commenced on the 15th of October. It is imperative that we, as a public health service, provide persons within our community with swift and easy-to-access avenues when it comes to receiving assistance and treatment for mental health issues. My mental health teams and I continue our work to endeavour to improve and to create a better and more responsive mental health service to meet the needs our community. I very much look forward to making additional statements in respect of planned measures to our Mental Health Services”