JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Three entities from Manchester won top awards in the Best of Like Entity Category of the Public Sector Customer Service Competition, held on October 9, in Kingston.
  • The Best Health Centre was won by the Christiana Health Centre; the Best Hospital award went to Percy Junor Hospital; and the Best Post Office was won by Watson’s Hill Post Office.
  • In an interview with JIS News, Parish Manager for Manchester Health Services, Earl McLaughlin, said that Christiana’s win can be attributed to many measures that have been implemented, adding that it was also due in no small part to the warmth of the people of Manchester.

Three entities from Manchester won top awards in the Best of Like Entity Category of the Public Sector Customer Service Competition, held on October 9, in Kingston.

The Best Health Centre was won by the Christiana Health Centre; the Best Hospital award went to Percy Junor Hospital; and the Best Post Office was won by Watson’s Hill Post Office.

In an interview with JIS News, Parish Manager for Manchester Health Services, Earl McLaughlin, said that Christiana’s win can be attributed to many measures that have been implemented, adding that it was also due in no small part to the warmth of the people of Manchester.

He pointed out that expansion work had taken place at the Christiana Health Centre and that more patients are now being seen by doctors.

“The waiting time for clients has been significantly shortened through the expansion of the facility. In addition to that, doctors are now coming on a more regular basis.

Christiana is one of the fastest growing towns in Manchester and the health centre serves a number of districts, such as Devon, Spaldings and Chudleigh. It is a wide area that we serve and we have been improving our services over the past two years to meet the needs of our clients,” he said.

Mr. McLaughlin noted that the Manchester Health Department is the only one in the island that has established a mobile pharmacy, which serves all health centres in the parish. This, he said, would have been a major contributing factor to the Christiana Health Centre coming out on top in the competition.

“We pack the medication in a vehicle and take it to the health centres, so that the patients do not have to go to the pharmacy,” he explained.

Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Percy Junor Hospital, Sharon Pitter, said the quality of health service offered in Manchester  was among the reasons for receiving top honours.

“We are so happy to have come away with the win. Manchester is a customer, friendly parish. I must add, however, that team spirit at the hospital is what has made the difference for us. We work together on our projects and that improves our ability to deliver high quality service,” she said.

Ms. Pitter added that extensive work has been carried out on the hospital to make it more customer oriented.

“We have established a waiting room for patients, separate from the Accident and Emergency area. We don’t have an area that is big enough to house them, so we had to put that in to increase our capacity to care for our patients,” she explained.

She said that the hospital has established a community outreach project in the form of a Mathematics class that caters to students in the community as well as staff and their children.

“We have also established a chaplaincy unit that provides spiritual support for patients and staff and any other person in the hospital community who is in need of spiritual counselling,” Ms. Pitter added.

The hospital serves the parishes of Manchester, Clarendon, Trelawny and St. Ann.

For her part, Postmistress of the Watson’s Hill Post Office, Juanita Thomas, attributed the win to the level of care taken by the staff to meet customer needs.

“This win is all about customer service, what our customers need, and what we can do for them, so when they come we ask ‘how may we help you?’ We don’t say ‘can I help you?’ because we expect to be able to fulfil their requirements and many times we go beyond regular hours to facilitate our customers,” she explained.

Quality Assurance Officer at Jamaica Post, Devon Dewdney, said the post offices are monitored on a regular basis and that the agency uses the process of mystery shopping and mystery calling to ensure that they are compliant with the best practices of customer engagement.

Watson’s Hill Post Office, which is in the district of New Forest in southwest Manchester, serves areas such as Comma Pen, Plowden and Lititz.

The Public Sector Customer Service Competition, a critical component of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme, is one of the strategies implemented by the Government of Jamaica to achieve higher levels of service delivery in public sector entities. It rewards entities that demonstrate service excellence in various categories, with winners being selected through public vote and independent judging.