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Alderney Doctor Investigation Media Release 1

Alderney doctor investigation - 2nd April 2015 Press conference statements from Chief of Police Patrick Rice and HSSD Chief Officer Carol Tozer

MEDIA STATEMENT

Statement from Chief of Police Patrick Rice:

'Earlier this morning, a team of 10 Guernsey Police officers travelled to Alderney and served search warrants at both the Eagle Medical Practice and a private residential address.

'The circumstances which led to this action are that concerns were raised with the Health and Social Services Department following the death of a patient who had been under the care of the Eagle Medical Practice. 

'HSSD carried out a preliminary internal investigation, where three further deaths of concern were identified, before referring the matter to Guernsey Police. 

'Based on this information we have launched an investigation.

'The searches of the two properties are continuing as we speak, and it is likely medical records will be seized. No one has been arrested.

'This decisive early action was necessary in order to ensure the protection of the public, which is always our primary concern.

'The Bailiwick community will be understandably concerned by news of this investigation. By its nature it will be complex and take time to establish the full facts.

'We have deployed family liaison officers to Alderney to help support the families of the patients in question and I want to reassure members of the community that this will be a diligent investigation, which will be conducted as expeditiously as possible.

'We will release further information when we are able to do so, but until then we would caution people against partaking in any unhelpful speculation. I will now hand over to HSSD Chief Officer Dr Carol Tozer.'

 

Statement from HSSD Chief Officer Carol Tozer:

 

 'Thank you Mr Rice.

'Obviously it is not for me to discuss an ongoing police investigation, but I do want to explain action taken by HSSD and offer reassurance to members of the Alderney community.

'For the purposes of background, the Health and Social Services Department has responsibility for the health and well-being of the people of Alderney. While GP practices in Alderney are privately-run businesses, we act as the investigating authority for complaints involving our staff or incidents taking place in our facilities.

'I would like to stress that my department's primary concern is that of public safety.

'Following our initial investigation, a doctor was excluded from treating patients at the Mignot Memorial Hospital and the General Medical Council was informed. The GMC was also notified that the matter is now the subject of a police investigation. 

'The GMC has confirmed that the doctor's practice is already restricted and he is being investigated.

'The Medical Director of my department, Professor William Roche, will also continue to liaise with the GMC - who will take action in accordance with their regulatory powers and in liaison with the police. We will of course continue to fully co-operate with the police investigation.

'I want to take this opportunity to reassure Alderney residents. We are actively working with health providers on the island for them to provide ongoing primary healthcare to local people. 

'I have senior staff on-island today who will be co-ordinating contact with patients concerned about today's events. I have also organised for additional senior staff to be based at the Mignot Memorial Hospital over the long Easter weekend to provide any information or advice to concerned patients. 

'We fully understand that there are likely to be concerns and uncertainty. As such, we would ask anyone who is worried, or has questions, about ongoing healthcare to contact our staff at Mignot Memorial Hospital on 822822.'

ENDS

Issued by Joel de Woolfson, Communications Manager for Law Enforcement, telephone number 719451