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House of Keys Sitting - 30th January 2007 30 January 2007

Question 9 | Question 10 | Question 11 | Question 12

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

Question NumberSubjectQuestion from
9Low Income Working GroupMr Cannan, MHK
10NHS DatabaseMr Cannan, MHK
11Clipboard StaffMr Karran, MHK
12Staff MeetingsMr Karran, MHK

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Question 9

For Oral Answer The Hon Member for Michael (Mr Cannan) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security –

Has the Low Income Working Group identified possible additional measures to assist individuals who fail to qualify for the Winter Heating Bonus, as requested by Tynwald in October 2006?

Answer

Mr Speaker,

I can confirm that the Low Incomes Working Group is currently looking at options to help those who have relatively low incomes, but who do not qualify for a Winter Bonus under the present eligibility criteria.

The Group is currently considering a number of ways to deliver additional help, using either the social security benefits regime or the income tax system. However, there are, of course, resource implications which would require careful consideration before any recommendations could be made.

Honourable Members may wish to note that I am considering increasing certain income support pensioner premiums from this April, which would have the potential to bring entitlement to income support, and therefore the Winter Bonus, to some of those pensioners currently on the margins.

Honourable Members may also wish to note that despite the increases in tariffs which were announced last September, domestic fuel prices on the Island have actually fallen since then. Indeed, the fuel and light element of the Manx Retail Prices Index shows that in the year to mid December, overall fuel prices rose by just 1.1% and have actually fallen by 1.5% over the last 3 months. In addition the Manx Electricity Authority have today announced the withdrawal of the Fuel Cost Adjustment leading to a reduction of 5% in the price of electricity.

Mr Speaker, whilst I shall be asking the Low Incomes Working Group to hasten their deliberations, I think the majority of Members would agree with me that the urgency which we faced last October has now passed. Indeed, it is ironic that Tynwald has committed itself to paying an Additional Winter Bonus at a time when domestic fuel costs are falling.

Question 10

For Oral Answer The Hon Member for Michael (Mr Cannan) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security –

  1. Are you aware that the United Kingdom Government is intending to create a National Health Service national database containing all the medical records of General Practitioners’ patients;
  2. Do you intend to establish a similar database for all Isle of Man residents; and
  3. Do you intend to have all Isle of Man residents’ medical records included on the United Kingdom national database?

Answer

Mr Speaker,

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes.
  3. Only patients who are being treated in England will have access of their medical record, pertinent to their treatment on the English Care Record System.

Question 11

For Oral Answer The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Karran) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security –

What steps have been taken to review the disproportionate amount of management and “clip board” staff in the hospital and Health Services?

Answer

Mr Speaker,

As the Hon Member is aware, I am still very new to this post.

However, I can advise that I intend to review all aspects of the Health Services’ operations, and those in other areas of the Department, with a view to achieving even better value for money than is currently being achieved.

In the meanwhile, if the Hon Member has any specific examples of excessive management and ‘clip board’ staff in the hospital and Health Services, either myself or the Hon Member for Health, would be pleased to receive any details he has.

Question 12

For Oral Answer The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Karran) to ask the Minister for Health and Social Security –

  1. What steps is your Department taking regarding the amount of time staff spend attending meetings instead of dealing with patients; and
  2. What are your proposals to get the balance right so that the patients come first?

Answer

Mr Speaker,

In answer to the first part of the Hon Members’ Question, I can advise that no additional steps are being taken. Patients and patient care have been, and always will be, the priority for all Health Service staff.

As a former Member of the Department the Honourable Member should be aware that it is a fact of life that in order to ensure patients are provided with the best in patient care by appropriately qualified and informed staff, that meetings must take place. For example, whilst some meetings have a direct bearing on patient care (e.g. Infection Control) others can affect staff qualifications and training (e.g. Continual Professional Development).

However, meetings when they do take place, are always timed to minimise the impact on patient care and staff will not attend meetings where patient care could be affected.

In light of the foregoing, I do not believe there is a need to respond to the second part of the Hon Members’ Question.

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