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House of Keys Sitting - 3rd April 2007 3 April 2007

Oral Question 8 | Oral Question 9 | Oral Question 10 | Written Question 2 | Oral Question 3 | Oral Question 4

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.

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
Oral Q8Orthodontist Waiting TimeMr Cannan, MHK
Oral Q9Patient TravelMr Henderson, MHK
Oral Q10Secure Unit Mr Houghton, MHK
Written Q2PharmaceuticalMr Malarkey, MHK
Written Q3Secure UnitMr Houghton, MHK
Written Q4OphthalmologyMr Braidwood, MHK

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Oral Question 8

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

Why is there a two year waiting time for an appointment to see the consultant orthodontist?


Mr Speaker,

Thank you for your question relating to the Orthodontic Service which we are aware is causing some concerns within the Community and Hospital Services. The underlying reason is that demand for orthodontics is outstripping our ability to provide the service. This provides good illustration of why the Department should not take on any further commitments.

Oral Question 9

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

    • What is the current qualifying criterion whereby your Department pays for a patient to travel to a UK hospital or specialist area for assessment;
    • And for the “qualifying patient” – will your Department pay for all travel expenses, such as airfares, taxi fares or train fares;
    • Does your Department pay under certain circumstances for a relative to travel with the “patient” who is travelling to the UK for medical treatment or specialist services;
    • If so, what are the qualifying criteria for a relative to travel with the “patient”; and
    • Will your Department pay for their travel costs from the Isle of Man – boat, air fare or taxi – will the Department fund UK travelling arrangements such as taxi fare or train fare?


Mr Speaker,

I would like to thank the Honourable Member for bringing the matter to my attention. It has highlighted some issues which give me concern.

    • The criterion for an NHS patient to receive NHS treatment at a United Kingdom hospital or clinic is that the treatment is unable to be provided on the Island.
    • Under normal circumstances, the Department will pay for all reasonable travel expenses between the destination hospital in the UK and the relevant UK airport.
    • Yes.
    • If the patient falls within the following criterion:-
      • 16 years and under.
      • With limited mobility (including blind/deaf).
      • Requiring an escort as part of their treatment (e.g. Infertility).
      • With learning difficulties.
      • Who are pregnant and attending hospital for confinement.
      • Suffering from life threatening conditions.
      • Undergoing painful/life threatening operative procedures, where emotional support is considered essential.
      • Obtaining treatment for mental illness.
      • Requiring an escort in order to ensure safety, as specified by the Medical Practitioner.
    • (Where an escort is authorised, the escort will receive exactly the same assistance that an NHS patient is entitled to when travelling to a UK hospital.

In researching the answer to this question it has become clear to me that the criterion are being interpreted too liberally and this has resulted in a cost of nearly £600,000 falling upon the Department during the current financial year.

It is estimated that if the criterion was respected then a saving in excess of £200,000 could be achieved. I have asked my colleagues to be more vigilant in the future. Once again I would like to thank the Honourable Member for raising the issue with me.

Oral Question 10

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

How did a young person sent to the secure unit recently abscond from care?


Mr Speaker,

One of the groups of young people detained at the secure unit are those for whom the Department has applied to the Court for a secure order on welfare grounds because it is felt to be in their best interests.

As they come to the end of their period in secure care, a programme of mobility can be agreed so that they can begin their rehabilitation back into the community prior to their release from secure care. This can include occupational, educational or social activities to fit in with their care plan on release.

It is when on mobility programmes that young people subject to care orders have an opportunity to abscond and this does happen from time to time and is dealt with in reviewing their situation and readiness for a return to the community. There has been no incident whereby a young person has ever been able to abscond from the unit itself.

Written Question 2

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

  1. Is it common for pharmaceutical service licences to be sold on with chemist shop businesses:
  2. When was the original pharmaceutical services licence issued for the Governor’s Hill chemist and to whom:
  3. Was the Governor’s Hill pharmaceutical services licence transferred from the original applicant and if so from whom to whom and when?


Mr Speaker,

  1. Whilst it is not uncommon for pharmaceutical businesses to be sold, in such circumstances the purchaser is required to apply to the General Manager Primary Healthcare, for a dispensing contract as per the NHS (IOM) General Pharmaceutical Regulations 2004. The pharmaceutical services licence is not tradeable and so is not “sold on”.
  2. Mr R K Corkill received approval to his application for inclusion in the List of Pharmacies entitled to carry out NHS dispensing services i.e. the Pharmaceutical List on 13 October, 1993. His place of business for this purpose was detailed as Unit One, Governors Hill Community Shopping Centre, Douglas. Approval was granted under the NHS (Pharmaceutical List Regulations) 1980 (now repealed). The pharmacy opened in June 1994 following necessary building work to the premises.
  3. On 30 January ,1995, the Pharmaceutical List Committee gave formal approval to G J Maley Ltd for inclusion on the Pharmaceutical List in respect of Hailwood Court, Governors Hill, Douglas. Approval was granted under the NHS (Pharmaceutical List Regulations) 1980. Prior to this application, the Department was notified of the acquisition of the pharmacy by G J Maley Ltd from Mr R K Corkill.

Oral Question 3

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

  1. How many staff are employed in the secure unit;
  2. What is the total number of staff who have resigned and who have been recruited during the last 12 months;
  3. How many staff have been assaulted in the same period; and
  4. Do they receive adequate training before beginning work?


Mr Speaker,

  1. At this present time there are 22 members of full time staff employed at the Children’s Secure Home.
  2. Since January 2006 to the present time there have been 12 members of staff who have left the Secure Home: 4 of those 12 have remained at the Secure Home on a part time basis as care-bank staff. Since January 2006 the number of staff that has been recruited to the Secure home is 8.
  3. Since January 2006 there have been 9 incidents of assault on staff: 3 of those 9 were of a serious enough nature to involve the Police. All others were assaults during restraints and incidents surrounding challenging behaviour and to prevent self harm.
  4. On beginning employment at the Secure Home all staff complete a 4 week induction programme involving a 2 weeks period of induction training and 2 weeks shadowing experienced staff.

Oral Question 4

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

With regard to the large outpatient waiting list for Ophthalmology at 31st December 2006 of 591 when compared to previous years, has a peer audit been carried out between the present senior incumbent consultant and his predecessor in regard to the number of –

  • Patients seen per session;
  • Private sessions;
  • NHS operations performed for cataract removal;
  • Private operations performed for cataract removal; and
  • if so, what are the results, and if not can an audit be arranged and are the other two ophthalmic surgeons performing surgical procedures?


Mr Speaker,

Thank you for your question with regard to Ophthalmology services at Noble’s Hospital.

The figure quote in the question refers to the Inpatient Waiting List number, not the Outpatient, as stated.

Therefore, this answer is based on the Inpatient information available although alternative information can be supplied if this is not what is required.

For ease of understanding enclosed are two tables which answer the questions posed.

In order to give an accurate comparison of activity and workload undertaken by both Mr Travers and Mr Khan the Honourable Questioner needs to be aware of significant differences between the two practices.

  • Mr Travers practised the ‘old’ method of cataract surgery, not phacoemulsification.
  • Mr Travers’ Waiting Lists were unfortunately not all held on computer. This did not become apparent until after his retirement, and therefore, the Waiting List of 2004 could never be compared to that of 2006 in terms of actual numbers waiting. Since the data has been corrected to show everyone waiting, it will always look as if Mr Khan has created a ‘problem’, when in fact he has inherited this position. This is in both Outpatients and Inpatients.
  • Private Practice was not recorded completely separately in 2004. Consultants were able to undertake a mixture of Private and NHS treatments in any sessions. Therefore to compare the two again would not be accurate.
  • Since 2005, Consultants have undertaken Private Practice completely separately to NHS work, ensuring separate clinic and theatre lists. Therefore the data for 2006 will always show more Private Practice. This in turn brings extra revenue for the hospital, which we depend upon.

To answer the question regarding audit confirmation can be given that such an investigation was undertaken by a senior member of the Consultant Medical Staff from another speciality in the summer of 2006.

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