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Story Highlights

  • The Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of the Percy Junor Hospital in Spaldings, Manchester, is slated to undergo major expansion and modernisation, at a cost of approximately $450 million.
  • This engagement will coincide with the institution’s 70th anniversary this year, and aims to transform the facility into one delivering high quality client health care services.
  • Support has already been forthcoming for the management’s engagements, with members of the United Kingdom Diaspora Group donating equipment and other resources, valued at over $3.5 million.

The Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of the Percy Junor Hospital in Spaldings, Manchester, is slated to undergo major expansion and modernisation, at a cost of approximately $450 million.

This engagement will coincide with the institution’s 70th anniversary this year, and aims to transform the facility into one delivering high quality client health care services.

Support has already been forthcoming for the management’s engagements, with members of the United Kingdom Diaspora Group donating equipment and other resources, valued at over $3.5 million.

This gesture formed part of the Group’s Diaspora Day of Service engagements, during the Sixth Biennial Diaspora Conference, held recently in Montego Bay, St. James.

Acting Parish Manager, Manchester Health Services, Earl McLaughlin, has expressed gratitude for the Group’s donation, pointing out that the members have offered to provide additional support through the development of a three to five-year programme of assistance.

Mr. McLaughlin, who is the hospital’s former Chief Executive Officer, notes that the A & E Department, which is some 940 sq. ft. in size, is “much too small”, pointing out that an average of 50,000 persons access its services annually. This situation, he adds, is compounded whenever mass casualty incidents arise.

“We are ramping it up now. The plans have already been drawn, (and) we are looking at (undertaking the) project (in) about three or four phases. The plan is to re-brand our hospital which will see us, in the long term, being transformed into being the premier health care facility in the Caribbean.”

Mr. McLaughlin says efforts are being made to source funding through “public and private sector partnership”, as well as from the National Health Fund (NHF).

“My philosophy is that we are not going to sit and wait for things to happen, but we are going to go out there and try to get some funds; and when we put that on the table we will say ‘this is what we have, we want you (NHF) to match us,” he adds.

The hospital is, currently, on a drive to get patients suffering from chronic illnesses, to apply for health cards from the NHF.

This engagement represents one aspect of the institution’s focus on improving customer service to the over 300,000 users of the facility, spanning the parishes of Manchester, Clarendon, St. Ann, and Trelawny.

One year ago, the NHF took over operation of the hospital’s pharmacy, which saw them undertaking several improvements.

Among these are: an increase in the number of dispensing windows; extension of the opening hours; refurbishing of the waiting area; and installation of new equipment, among other features.

This has resulted in increased patient satisfaction, with a recent hospital survey showing that 64 per cent of the clients approved of the quality of service.

This is welcome news for Percy Junor Hospital’s Operation Manager, Sharon Pitter.

“We have been working assiduously to improve our facility, through customer service, by giving optimum service to all those who use it. We have been seeking all the areas in which we can improve so that we can make our facility more conducive and applicable to every single customer that we encounter,” she tells JIS News.

She informs that the laboratory, operating theatre, outpatient and laundry departments have all been renovated.

According to Ms. Pitter, improvements in the hospital’s surroundings, such as retiling of the floor, have also boosted staff morale. The retiling was done through contributions from the organisation, Friends of the Percy Junor Hospital, based in New York, USA, as well as residents of Spaldings, and its environs.

Over the years, donations have also come from groups and individuals, including the Christiana Potato Growers; Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives; as well as individuals such as Esther Smith, of the Netherlands.

Ms. Pitter also informs that, currently, a new sewage treatment plant is being constructed at a cost of $389 million with funds provided by the NHF.

The project, being carried under the Health Ministry’s sewage treatment plant rehabilitation programme, entails the construction of a bio-digester septic tank which, she explains, will enable the hospital to process and use water collected to maintain the institution’s gardens, among other landscaping engagements.

Additionally, Ms. Pitter says, it will facilitate the extraction of an odourless gas to be used for cooking, which should significantly reduce operational expenses.

Meanwhile, the hospital’s Patient Affairs Officer, Delva Walters, tells JIS News that the institution has implemented an “open visiting system”, aimed at enhancing clients’ comfort, by extending visiting hours for family and friends.

“They (visitors) can sit with them (patients) and have quality time; and this helps a lot with their recovery process,” she explains.

Ms. Walters also points out that clients and staff are kept informed about the hospital’s engagements through a publication titled ‘Monday Memo’, which also highlights the work of outstanding staff members.

This, she points out, is being undertaken as part of the management’s commitment to continuous customer service improvement which, she assures, the institution “takes seriously.”

By virtue of this commitment to improving service delivery, the Percy Junor Hospital has been recognised and bestowed with numerous awards.

Notable among these are the award for being adjudged the Most Creative/Innovative Entity in the biennial Public Sector Customer Service Competition, which it copped twice, which the management is aiming to take home again this year.

The competition, which falls under the Public Sector Customer Service Programme (PSCSP) of the Office of Cabinet, recognises and rewards entities deemed to have continuously improved their service delivery standards.

In 2013, the hospital received the Manchester Parish Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service in the field of emergency care and management.

The hospital’s successes are consistent with the modernisation plan being implemented in the health sector by the Government to improve service delivery to clients.

Acting Senior Director of the Modernisation Programme Implementation Unit, Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme, Cabinet Office, Michele Gordon-Somers, says the Percy Junor Hospital is active in the Public Sector Customer Service Network, which was established to improve and share service delivery and best practices in the public sector.

The network’s members meet once per quarter at which time best practices are shared and service challenges discussed among network members.

Since 1997, Mrs. Gordon-Somers says the Cabinet Office has utilised the network “to share service delivery best practices, share common experiences and challenges and build the capacity of entities.”