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Tynwald Sitting - 19th June 2007 19 June 2007

Oral Question 7 | Written Question 20 | Written Question 21 | Written Question 22 | Written Question 23 | Written Question 24 | Written Question 25

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
Oral 7Ardbraccan HouseMr Houghton, MHK
Written 20Team Building 1Mr Henderson,MHK
Written 21Team Building 2Mr Henderson, MHK
Written 22Sleep ClinicMr Henderson, MHK
Written 23Pension SupplementMr Rodan, SHK
Written 24St. Christopher'sMr Houghton, MHK
Written 25Southern GP SurgeriesMr Cannan, MHK

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Oral Question 7

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

Can you give an unequivocal assurance that Ardbracan House in Surby will be used only for people with a learning disability?

Answer

Mr President, Following representations received from the three Honourable Members for Rushen, and a public meeting at Ballafesson, the decision was made to amend the Department’s original proposals. The solution is, I feel, a pragmatic way forward, but it is not possible to give an unequivocal assurance that Ardbraccan House in Surby will be used only for people with learning disabilities. However, current plans for its use are for young people with learning disabilities and there are no other uses under consideration. I should also add, Mr President that for this sector of our community continuity is important and I feel that it would not be in the best interests of those who are housed at Ardbraccan to change the arrangement in the short term.

Written Question 20

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

  1. Can you confirm, if senior staff or others have held “team building” exercises, which involve a transfer of staff undertaking such exercises off the Noble’s Hospital site, in privately hired rooms or premises;
  2. starting with 2006-2005 and working backwards, in each of the last five years -
    1. on how many occasions; and
    2. what was the total cost on each occasion to the taxpayer?

Answer

Thank you for your question regarding ‘team building’ exercises. On 31st January 2007, I arranged for an instruction to be issued to the Senior Management Team within the Department that all meetings, seminars, workshops, training etc, were not to take place in external venues. All external venues booked at the time of my request were to stand. No request was made for any meetings of this nature following those instructions being issued and on that basis I was not aware of any ‘team building’ meetings being undertaken at, or by, Noble’s Hospital senior staff over the last 5 years which involved privately hired rooms or premises.

As you are aware, education and training are essential to healthcare professionals, however, the attendance at such events is after clear agreement and comparison with personal and corporate objectives and Personal Development Plans. It may be that this is what the Honourable Member is referring to, but they are not described as team building. It would appear that there was a meeting organised by the Royal College of Nursing (not the Department) during 16th and 17th May this year at the Grand Island Hotel in Ramsey. The meeting was for 11 people and has been a regular feature for the last few years. Attendance at the meeting could be included in a PDP schedule and the cost of £1,300 was not paid by the Department. This meeting was a Royal College of Nursing Educational opportunity. The majority of the attendees were not senior managers. Mr President I have to say that I am disappointed that this matter was raised in the media before I had the opportunity to respond, but I am pleased to be able to clarify the matter in the appropriate forum.

Written Question 21

For Written Answer:

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

  1. Can you confirm, over the last 12 months if managers, including senior managers, at Noble’s Hospital have been involved with “team building” exercises:
    1. if so, how many such exercises have been conducted in that period;
    2. can you state the venue for such exercises and if overnight accommodation was involved;
    3. if so, can you confirm all expenses were funded by your Department;
    4. what was the total cost of any such exercises;
  2. Can you further confirm -
    1. how many staff were involved;
    2. what were the grades of those staff;
    3. if any consultants or outside agencies were involved in this or other resources; and
    4. how many days any such exercises were in duration?

Answer

Thank you for your question regarding ‘team building’ exercises. I feel that I have dealt with this matter in my response to Question no 20 standing in the Honourable Member’s name, and I have nothing further to add. However if the Honourable Member has any further queries I would welcome a discussion with him.

Written Question 22

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

Can you confirm that the Sleep Clinic at Noble’s Hospital is unable to perform overnight sleep assessments on patients, and that this is a crucial assessment for diagnosing and treatment; and, if not, why not?

Answer

Thank you for your question regarding the Sleep Clinic at Noble’s Hospital. There is currently no facility in Noble’s Hospital to provide overnight sleep assessments on patients.

Some years ago Wythenshawe Hospital, because of lack of capacity, terminated the contract with Noble’s Hospital. Some provision of service was set up on the Island but no funding was provided to support the service and we could not provide overnight sleep assessments. The current provision of initial assessment and treatment is provided within current resources. Those patients who, after initial assessment and treatment, required overnight sleep assessment are referred to the United Kingdom. The core business of the Medical Directorate is emergency medicine which has priority for resource and service provision, and given the financial constraints in the department, no new business is being developed without detailed consideration, identification of resources required and appropriate business cases being put forward for consideration. Overnight sleep assessment on Island has been identified within the Directorate Business Plan as an objective for March 2008 onwards but this will depend on resources becoming available and the relative clinical priorities within the Directorate.

To establish such a service would require provision of financial resources to meet demand, additional staffing in the department and additional identified space in which this can be performed.

I trust this information is sufficient for your needs. Should you require any further information please no not hesitate to contact me.

Written Question 23

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

  1. What progress has been made to amend the Pension Supplement Scheme which currently does not recognise National Insurance contributions initiated by Isle of Man residents while serving in the UK armed services towards the minimum requirement of ten years’ of contributions paid in the Isle of Man; and
  2. when do you expect to bring to Tynwald a scheme which corrects this injustice?

Answer

I would like to thank the Honourable Member for Garff for his interest in this subject and this question. This matter has become part of a wider review of the eligibility criteria for the Isle of Man Pension Supplement Scheme, principally on account of the State Pension reforms set out in the UK Pensions Bill which is currently before Parliament. The review is also looking at the request of the Isle of Man Pensioners Association for those who have already attained State pension age, but who do not have the requisite number of years of Isle of Man contributions to qualify for the Supplement, to be able to pay additional contributions specific to the Supplement Scheme in order to gain entitlement. Any changes to the present eligibility criteria for the Supplement could have a dramatic and long-lasting effect on the National Insurance Fund. Therefore, the Department has taken, and will continue to take, advice from the UK Government Actuary, with a view to ensuring that any changes to the Supplement’s eligibility criteria or the rates of entitlement are financially sustainable in the long term. It would not be in the best interests of the Island’s community to rush this task and the Department cannot at this stage say when any amendments to the Supplement Scheme will be brought to this Honourable Court.

Written Question 24

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

  1. How many staff are employed by St Christopher’s;
  2. how many of them are actually working towards achieving NVQ qualifications in caring for children and young persons; and
  3. how many staff have already achieved level 3 NVQ or above?

Answer

  1. The Department has contracts with St Christopher’s Fellowship (IoM) to deliver specific services for Children and Young People. Within these contracts standards are specified and compliance with these standards is monitored. Detail in respect of St Christopher’s staffing is not within the remit of the Department providing that compliance with the standards is obtained. At this time the Department is satisfied that St Christopher’s is fully compliant in respect of training.

    Monitoring takes various forms;

    • Regular meetings with the Contracts Manager for Children and Families at which issues are raised and there are regular reports received from St Christopher’s
    • Formal inspections, announced and unannounced, of St Christopher’s’ units from the Registration & Inspections Unit
    • Inspection visits undertaken by a quality officer employed jointly by all the providers and the Division as an additional layer of inspection
    • Formal annual reviews of contracts involving senior officers of Social Services.
  2. In relation to staff qualifications, supervision, appraisal, training and staff development, the contract specification requires that the following systems will be put in place by the Service Provider:-
    • Staff development and learning portfolios for all permanent staff
    • Induction and equal opportunities training for all permanent staff
    • Child protection training for all operational staff
    • Management development programme for first line managers and above
    • Access to service related training programmes
    • NVQ Level 3 (or equivalent) training availability for all care staff
  3. I am lead to believe that the total number of staff employed in care is 115 and there are 39 already trained to NVQ3 standard or better. 23 staff are currently undergoing training at NVQ3 and will be qualified in August 2007. Further staff are expected to commence their studies later this year.

Written Question 25

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

  1. In respect of the Doctor’s surgery at Castletown -
    1. how many patients are registered;
    2. how many full-time doctors are employed at the surgery;
    3. what was the running cost for the financial year 2006/07;
    4. what is the estimated annual running cost for the next five years;
  2. in respect of the Doctor’s surgery at Ballasalla -
    1. how many patients are registered;
    2. how many full-time doctors are employed at the surgery;
    3. what was the running cost for the financial year 2006/07;
    4. what is the estimated annual running cost for the next five years; and
  3. (3) what is the travelling distance between the Castletown surgery and the Ballasalla surgery?

Answer

  1. In respect of the Doctor’s surgery at Castletown -
    1. On 1 April, 2007, there were 3,849 patients registered with Castletown Medical Centre.
    2. Two.
    3. The Department makes contractual payments to GP Practices for the provision of general medical services. The payment is based on the number of patients registered and the services provided to them. Therefore the payments include both the running costs of the practice and an element of practice profit. Consequently the Department is unable to identify specifically the running costs for this Practice.
    4. Whilst the Department is able to budget for the overall spend for general medical services it isn’t possible to quantify what percentage of this relates to running costs, as explained above.
  2. in respect of the Doctor’s surgery at Ballasalla -
    1. On 1 April, 2007, there were 4,314 patients registered with Ballasalla Medical Centre.
    2. There are three GPs, two of whom are full-time and one of whom is half-time.
    3. Please see 1(iii) above.
    4. Please see 1(iv) above.
  3. The distance between Castletown surgery and Ballasalla surgery is 1.8 miles.

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