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Tynwald Sitting 16th January 2007 17 January 2007

Question 10 | Question 11 | Question 12 | Question 13 | Question 40 | Question 41

The question number refers to the question order specified in the official Tynwald Question Paper. To read the answers, scroll down this page or select a link to a question from above.

Question NumberSubjectQuestion from
10EMI unit Mr Malarkey, MHK
11Palatine Health CentreMr Quirk, MHK
12Spina BifidaMr Waft, MLC
13Manx Family ServicesMr Henderson, MHK
40SouthlandsMr Gill, MHK
41Bordersley InstituteMr Henderson, MHK

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Question 10

For Oral Answer: The Hon Member for Douglas South (Mr Malarkey) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

Now that Heritage Homes is reported as having been granted planning permission to build an EMI Unit at Farmhill, Douglas, will you state whether -

  1. Your Department will now proceed to build such a unit there;
  2. There is, or will in the coming financial year be, capital budgetary provision for it;
  3. The building and equipping of the unit will be the subject of a public invitation to tender;
  4. There is adequate provision in your Department’s revenue budget for the running of such a unit; and
  5. The land will be purchased by the Department or leased?


Mr President,

  1. Yes - subject to Treasury and Tynwald approval.
  2. There is provision in the budget for the capital monies required to provide this building at page 62 in the ‘Pink Book’. The additional revenue provision for the unit is £802, 000 and also 14 whole time equivalent staff.
  3. Tenders were sought in 2003 for a 32 bed EMI unit and negotiations with the lowest tenderer followed that process. Standard Government policies have been followed in consultation with the Capital Projects Unit of the Treasury. The equipping of the unit will be subject to the normal tendering process nearing the completion of the building work.
  4. The D.H.S.S. have been allocated the revenue to operate the unit.
  5. The land will be purchased by the Department.

Question 11

For Oral Answer: The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Quirk) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

  1. Can you explain the criteria used by your Department with reference to the possible relocation of the Palatine Health Centre; and
  2. Were there any other areas taken into consideration when reviewing this project?


  1. The criteria used by the Department in relocating the Palatine Health Centre was to provide a building which would provide the following range of accommodation:
    1. 11 Consulting Rooms
    2. 1 Minor Surgery Reception and Waiting Area
    3. Training Room
    4. Offices for Staff
    5. Kitchen and Meeting Room
    6. The estimated total area of such a building is 550 square metres. (The existing clinic currently occupies less than half that area). In addition, a planning requirement for buildings of this nature is the provision of at least 40 car park spaces. There are no dedicated car parking spaces at the current facility.
  2. Locations considered were:
    1. Johnny Wattersons Lane
    2. Salisbury Street Bus Depot
    3. Private Development on Lower Dukes Road
    4. Private Development on Victoria Road
    5. Chester Street Retail Unit

Question 12

For Oral Answer:The Hon Member of the Council (Mr Waft) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

Given that the United States, Canada and Chile have recorded a 40-50% reduction in Neural Tube defects such as Spina Bifida arising in pregnancy which they believe is caused by the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid and following recommendation by the United Kingdom Government Scientific Advisory Committee that mandatory fortification of flour be introduced in to the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency is currently conducting a consultation process on how to increase young women’s intake of folic acid.

What action has your Department taken or is planning to take on this issue?


Mr President,

The UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recently published its final report on Folate and Disease Prevention, in which it recommends the implementation of mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) in the UK. As a result the UK Food Standard Agency (FSA) is consulting on different options for increasing young women’s intake of folate, a B vitamin, in order to reduce the number of pregnancies affected by neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The consultation process will end at the end of March 2007 following which the FSA will submit recommendations on fortification to the UK Department of Health, this will be after May 2007.

We anticipate the results of the UK consultation and the subsequent decisions by the UK Department of Health being published towards the end of 2007. I am advised that Laxey Flour Mills do not add folic acid to their flour so local bread is not fortified and this, Mr President would appear to be another reason to support local industry.

Question 13

For Oral Answer:The Hon Member for Douglas North (Mr Henderson) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

  1. When Manx Family Services lost its contract with your Department to St Christopher’s Fellowship, was there still time to run on the MFS contract and, if so, how much;
  2. If that was the case, can you confirm that an early “severing of contract” would have caused a financial penalty; and,
  3. If this was the case, if any payment had to be made, how much was this?


Mr President,

  1. Manx Family Services held a number of contracts with the Division, some of which were due to expire on 31st March 2007, and others which were due to expire on 31st March 2009, unless prior notice was given in which case they would have expired on 31st March 2008.
  2. The contracts contained no specific provision in relation to a financial penalty for early termination but such situation would be to subject to the usual legal and commercial considerations.
  3. Following consideration of the report of the Bordesley Institute in August 2006, the Department decided that it was in the best interests of children and young people to end our contractual relationship with Manx Family Services. To this end, we entered into negotiations with Manx Family Services in order to end the contracts in a manner that would ensure continuity of care for those children and young people that they were responsible for. An agreement that was satisfactory to both parties was reached that came into effect from the 30th November 2006. As is common in such situations, the details of that agreement are subject to a confidentiality clause and so for legal reasons details of the terms of that settlement cannot be made public.

Question 40

For Written Answer: The Hon Member for Rushen (Mr Gill) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

How many people are currently assessed as needing accommodation in Southlands but are unable to have their needs so met?


As of 10th January 2007, Social Services currently have 22 older people who have been assessed as requiring permanent residential care within Southlands. We do not operate a ‘waiting list’ in the sense that people are not ‘held in a queue’. Rather, Social Services managers are regularly assessing the relative urgency of each case on the basis of need through an allocations panel of relevant professional staff. When vacancies become available the top priority candidates are offered a place.

For those people to whom we cannot offer a place immediately, alternative arrangements are organised including social services homecare, social work support, community health services and assistance from befrienders. With the recent expansion of respite care at Southlands, we are now able to offer very flexible and comprehensive respite provision which can help sustain support from family carers at home.

Question 41

For Written Answer: The Hon Member for Douglas North (Mr Henderson) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security -

Is the report undertaken by the Bordesley Institute, at your Department’s request into the Care for Young People by Manx Family Services still not in the public domain?


The Bordesley Institute report was commissioned by the Department following concerns which were raised about services provided by Manx Family Services. The Bordesley Institute, an independent expert body, undertook a full inspection of all services provided by MFS and reported to the Department.

The Department decided not to publish the report because it is not felt to be in the interests of children and young persons or those individuals who gave information to the Bordesley Institute to do so.

Even if personal details were removed, the text of the report would enable the reader to identify the location of care homes and possibly of service users. It is not felt to be in the public interest that such information become known.

The Department made the findings of the report known in its press release on the 18th August 2006. This information was provided to the Honourable questioner by telephone on January 8th 2007. He asked if it was to be released to the general public. He was informed that there were no plans to publish this as there was information in it that would possibly identify some of the young people who were under the care of MFS. He was told if there was any differing information that he would be contacted.

If people feel that they cannot give evidence on a confidential basis then this could well compromise any future investigations.

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