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DHSS position on 24-hour service provision at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital 2 October 2006

The Department of Health and Social Security would like to clarify the current situation regarding 24-hour service provision at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital.

Recently, there have been many comments raised in the media that the Department already has sufficient funding for 24-hour service provision at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital. However, any suggestions that the Department already has funding in place, unfortunately, are misleading.

With the exception of Breast Screening call/recall funding and Southlands respite beds, all of the new DHSS funding announced in the Budget for Health Care relates solely to the costs of maintaining existing services.

Tynwald has indicated that they would like there to be 24-hour coverage at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital. Whilst the Department shares this desire, the DHSS has to apportion resources to meet many competing demands throughout the Island and for a huge range of services.

The Department had previously bid strenuously, but unsuccessfully, for new money to start a range of new services for the coming year. This totalled almost £3 million– including funding 24-hours services from Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital (approx. £400,000 for staff training and employment of extra nurse practitioners for a reorganised MEDS service, which would allow the planned out of hours services from the MIU).

Health Services Division has been tasked with re-costing and looking afresh at this scheme. Whilst the Department is very grateful to the League of Friends for their generous offer of funding to help start 24 hour running of the MIU, that would still leave the Department to find £160,000 in the first year of operation and of the order of £370,000 per year thereafter.

Steve Rodan MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security said,

“Both Mrs Anne Craine MHK [MHK for Ramsey and Member for Health] and I are determined that Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital, with its excellent facilities is developed to its fullest potential as an integrated part of the Health Service for the benefit of the whole Island.”

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