An audit into the Falkland Islands Health Service praised the quality care to patients and the impressively wide provision of health care services for such a remote and isolated community.
The audit was performed by senior clinical staff from the UK Ministry of Defence Permanent Joint Headquarters and highlighted “the dedication and team spirit of all members of staff and their pursuit to deliver quality care to their patients”.
It also noted that “for such a remote and isolated community the provision of health care services was impressively wide”.
The findings of the audit were at a meeting of the Falklands Legislative Assembly Health and Medical Services Committee.
According to Director of Health and Education, David Jenkins besides the positive aspects of the findings, the issues and actions identified mainly stemmed from two key areas.
Firstly they highlighted the importance of a need to identify and agree relevant standards that are to be worked to in a number of key clinical and governance areas.
The auditing team recognised that wholesale adoption of NHS or UK standards was not always possible or practicable in the Islands, but realistic standards that fit the local environment needed to be agreed in areas where ambiguity might currently exist.
Secondly the audit emphasised the need for increased longer-term planning over a ten to 20-year time horizon.
Mr Jenkins said work was already under way to address elements of the issues for improvement highlighted in the report.
In related news Mr. Jenkins revealed that regarding medical treatment overseas, the number of patients referred overseas for further specialist care since the beginning of the current financial year has levelled out.
At the end of March 2011, 75 patients received appointments in UK and 79 in Chile; compared to 83 and 75 for the nine months of the last financial year. The expenditure to date is within the previous estimate.
The Chief Medical Officer Roger Diggle reported that two aero-med flights had taken place during March. (FIRS & PN).-