The Gibraltar Health Authority have announced the commencement of recruitment of a third matron, who will be deployed to support Mental Health Services across the GHA.

In October of 2017, the GHA announced the reintroduction of a modernised matron role, with the appointment of highly competent and committed charge nurses: Natasha Cerisola and Jolyn Gonzalez.

The matron’s role involves developing and maintaining policies and protocols to ensure the delivery of care and patient safety is preserved and enhanced, across the GHA. They provide an accessible and authoritative presence in wards, to whom staff, patients and their loved ones can turn for assistance, advice, and support. Matrons also play in important role in the observance of high standards of hygiene and infection control procedures within wards and clinical settings. Other functions include coordinating the right plan of clinical care to meet the needs of recovering patients.

Following months of evaluation and discussion between the Ministry for Health, Care and Justice, and the Mental Services Teams at the GHA, various planned improvements and reforms have been introduced at the Mental Health Services. It was announced in October 2018 that the newly created Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is set to commence in January of 2019. This was followed by the appointment of an additional Consultant Clinical Psychologist to provide in-patient care at the Ocean Views Mental Health Facility, and the addition of a new Counsellor and extra counselling sessions at the Primary Care Centre. Further announcements, in respect of enhancements to mental health provision at the GHA, will be made in the coming months.

Ms Kay Rajkumar, Clinical Nurse manager for Mental Health Services said: “I welcome this extension to the mental health services and see this as an important step in the continued hard work and enhancement of current service provision. This development will prove beneficial towards ensuring that our service users’, and their relatives’, experiences of the service are positive and responsive to their current and future needs. It will also greatly assist in further maintaining, developing and improving standards of nursing care and patient and carer access to information.

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP said: “The reintroduction of the matron service has proven to be hugely successful. The feedback received from our service users and staff has been extremely positive. An additional matron, designated solely to support our mental health services, will no doubt be of the greatest benefit to our mental health patients and staff. This important and welcome post comes at a very important time for our mental health services, with further important, and welcomed developments, yet to be announced.