The GSD says that a number of recent court cases have “highlighted deficiencies in administration or care services” that need to be addressed. The party says that these cases illustrate failures in different areas to the detriment of the taxpayer and members of the community at large.
A statement continued: “In one particular case of a claim for damages filed by a GHA doctor a judgment in default has been obtained in circumstances where there have been reported procedural failings by the Defendant which will result in cost to the taxpayer. There are questions to be addressed as to how claims are handled and defended by public bodies and how the process should be improved.
“In July this year, it was reported how the transfer of a former Community Service Officer in June 2017 led to a 13 month period during which there was a vacant post resulting in a backlog of community service work. This highlights a need for better succession and recruitment planning.
“There are other significant succession planning issues in mental health services. Over the past few months, the psychiatric pool of doctors has dwindled resulting in just two locums overseeing all the workload in Gibraltar. This has also led to the delays in cases. Not recruiting permanent post-holders can and is affecting the vital continuity of care service to our community.
“Lessons need to be learned from all these cases to ensure better social, clinical and administrative support in care services – be it in mental health, social services or in claims handling. Otherwise a poor service is given to the public with the taxpayer having to foot the bill of any deficiencies that are identified. Efficient handling of claims can save money that can then be reinvested into public services.”