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DHSS requests Nursing Homes to defer intended fee increases 26 October 2006

The Department of Health and Social Security has made a written request to the Isle of Man Nursing Homes Association to defer any intended fee increases pending the conclusion of additional work by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The requested deferral follows the instruction, given by the Council of Ministers to the OFT, to undertake a range of further financial and accountancy analyses in respect of the costs incurred by homes, in direct response to issues raised by the Isle of Man Nursing Homes Association.

Steve Rodan, Minister for Health and Social Security said,

“Since the matter was discussed at last week’s sitting of Tynwald, there remains great concern as to the effect upon nursing home resident’s generally, as a result of the expressed intention of certain homes to increase fees again during the month of November. I have therefore written to Mr Ned Carroll, Chairman of the Isle of Man Nursing Homes Association on behalf of the Isle of Man Government, as it is important that constructive communication between the Nursing Homes Association and Government continues.”

DHSS Chief Executive, David Killip, commented,

"The prospect of further increases in fees at nursing homes clearly creates worry and concern for a number of residents and their families. The Department is very much of the view that, whilst the work of the Office of Fair Trading is continuing, it would be reasonable for homes not to increase their fees further. It is for that reason the Minister has written to the Nursing Homes Association making that request.

Mr Killip continued

"Any resident who believes they may have difficulty in meeting the costs charged by the home in which they are resident, should immediately discuss that matter with the management of the home concerned. The Department has taken advice and it is clear that the arrangements between each individual and the home in which they live could vary. For that reason, it is important for each individual to make their position known to the management of their home. “Anyone who would like advice in respect of income-support, or any other benefit, should contact the Department's Social Security Division.

The Isle of Man Nursing Homes Association has expressed a range of observations about the OFT Report, which concluded that the further fee increases were not justified, and is currently awaiting a response from the Chief Minister. Whilst continuing communication between the Association and the Department is important, to ensure the next meeting between both parties is an effective one, the Department has also requested that any meeting takes place after the Chief Minister has had an opportunity to reply and potentially once the OFT has completed its additional work.

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