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Tynwald Sitting - 20th March 2007 20 March 2007

Oral Question 19 | Oral Question 20 | Oral Question 21 | Oral Question 22 | Written Question 44 | Written Question 45

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

Question NumberSubjectQuestion from
Question 19Nursing and Residential HomesMr Henderson, MHK
Question 20Nursing and Residential HomesMr Henderson, MHK
Question 21Nursing and Residential Homes - Office of Fair TradingMr Henderson, MHK
Question 22Nursing and Residential Homes AssuranceMr Henderson, MHK
Question 44TV LicencesMr Malarkey, MHK
Question 45PharmaceuticalMr Malarkey, MHK

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Oral Question 19

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

Is your Department currently examining a way forward to meet the nursing care cost element of Nursing/Residential Home fees for residents and, if so, when is a scheme likely to be launched?

Answer

Mr President

Honourable Members will recall that at the April 2006 sitting of Tynwald it was resolved to support the Department of Health and Social Security in its policy intention to provide assistance to those in nursing homes with the costs of nursing care, in accordance with the principle of the Coughlan judgment in the United Kingdom.

It remains Department policy to introduce, on an incremental basis and as finances permit, help with the costs of nursing care.

Mr President, the Department submitted a bid, as part of the 2007/08 budgetary process, for additional funding for the phased implementation of assistance with nursing care costs. Unfortunately, the resources necessary to do so were not available and I am not able to say when they will be. Whilst the issue does remain a priority, I need to target the Department’s available resources, as it cannot meet all the demands currently placed upon it.

The Department is actively considering a number of other issues, the implementation of which would require additional resources. Difficult decisions as regards priority will therefore need to be made. The Council of Ministers and Honourable Members will have the opportunity to input to that decision-making process.

The Department is currently looking for areas of operation in which monies may be saved, which could then be used to finance new initiatives or to enhance existing services.

Honourable Members may wish to note that financial assistance is already given to those who are liable to pay nursing home fees in the form of tax relief.

Oral Question 20

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

How many people does the Department support in Residential/Nursing Home settings who are under the age of 65 and suffer from neurological disorders of varying forms?

Answer

Mr President

I assume that the Honourable Member for Douglas North is referring to long-term care rather than short breaks and to larger registered residential/nursing homes rather than the small scale ordinary houses in ordinary streets. In this case, the number of people supported by the Department is 21.

However, this number does not include people with learning disabilities, living in group homes in the community run by the DHSS of which there are 100 people, all under 65 years old with neurological conditions who receive respite care in residential/nursing homes.

Oral Question 21

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

Since the announcement that the Office of Fair Trading was going to investigate the costs and pricings of certain Nursing and Residential Homes in 2006, have your relevant Departmental officials met with the affected ‘Homes’ Managers to discuss a way forward and any issues or concerns that they may have?

Answer

Mr President

I can confirm that recent meetings have indeed taken place between nursing homes’ operators and Department officials, at which the operators have had the opportunity to raise and discuss the concerns they have.

As regards a “way forward”, it has been recognised by the respective parties that until such time as the current Office of Fair Trading investigation is completed and the Council of Ministers has reached its conclusions in the matter, it would be inappropriate for the Department to review the status quo.

Oral Question 22

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

Has your Department kept the commitment given in Tynwald last year to my questions from Shirveishagh Rodan with regard to agreeing for the Department to contact residents/families of residents who are finding it more or less impossible to meet the new increased pay levels of certain Nursing Homes now pitched at £695.00 per week?

Answer

Mr President

Honourable Members will no doubt recall the comments made by the former Minister for Health and Social Security at last December’s sitting of this Honourable Court, when responding to an earlier question from the Honourable Member for Douglas North.

What Minister Rodan said then, and I am happy to confirm, is that the advice from the Department to those who are concerned by the level of fees they or a member of their family are being charged is that they should in the first instance raise their concern with the management of the relevant home. For legal reasons, the Department’s advice can go no further than that.

Written Question 44

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

How much did it cost Social Security for free BBC television licences to pensioners in the last financial year?

Answer

Total expenditure on free TV licences in the financial year 2005/06 was £576,118.

Written Question 45

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

  1. Does the pharmaceutical committee still exist;
  2. If so, who is on it;
  3. If not, who issues pharmaceutical licences; and
  4. What controls are there on setting up retail pharmacies?

Answer

  1. In answering the question it is assumed that the Honourable Member is referring to the Pharmaceutical List Committee which was constituted ‘for the purpose of considering and determining applications by chemists, who undertake to provide pharmaceutical services, for the inclusion in the Pharmaceutical List kept by the Board.’ [Part II, 3. NHS Health Service (Pharmaceutical List Committee) Regulations 1980.]

    I can advise that this committee was one of a number of family practitioner committees disbanded on the introduction of new secondary legislation, in this case, the National Health Service (General Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2004

  2. The Committee consisted of:
    • A Chairman who shall be appointed by and be a member, but not the Chairman, of the Board;
    • Two members, not being members of Tynwald, appointed by the Board; and
    • Two members appointed by the Manx Chemists’ Association. [Part II, 6. (1) NHS Health Service (Pharmaceutical List Committee) Regulations 1980.]
  3. Under section 4 (2) of the NHS (General Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2005 the responsibility for determining an application for inclusion in the Pharmaceutical List lies with an officer nominated for the purpose by the Department. The nominated officer is the General Manager, Primary Health Care. An appeal provision for circumstances where an application is refused is included in the regulations.
  4. Notice of applications is given to the Isle of Man Pharmacy Contractor’s Association and any person who is included on the list and whose interests might, in the opinion of the Department, be significantly affected if the application were granted and those notified may, within the required timescale, make written representation to the Department.

    The NHS (General Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2005, section 5 list the grounds on which the Department may refuse an application.

    Under Section 6 (1) of the regulations, an application shall be granted by the Department only if it is satisfied that it is necessary or desirable to grant the application in order to secure, in the neighbourhood in which the premises from which the applicant intends to provide the services are located, the adequate provision, by persons included in a pharmaceutical list, of the services, specified in the application (“the necessary or desirable test”)

    Section 6 (2) details matters which the Department shall have regard to in considering whether the necessary or desirable test is satisfied and in the main relate to the level of NHS pharmaceutical services currently being provided in that area.

  5. It should be noted that the answer relates to provision of NHS Pharmaceutical Services. Applications for the registration of premises for retail pharmacy purposes which would not include NHS Services (i.e. the dispensing of NHS prescriptions) are dealt with under the Medicines Act 2003 and are not therefore covered by the arrangements above.

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