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Keys Sitting - 4th December 2007 4 December 2007

Oral Question 5 | Oral Question 6 | Oral Question 7 | Oral Question 8 | Oral Question 9 | Written Question 2

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 5Deputy Chief ExecutiveMr Henderson, MHK
Oral 6Escort CriteriaMrs Cannell, MHK
Oral 7Transport for adults with learning disabilitiesMrs Cannell, MHK
Oral 8 Cancer InformationMr Cannan, MHK
Oral 9Breast screening recall systemMr Cannan, MHK
Written 2Deputy Chief ExecutiveMr Henderson, MHK

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Oral Question 5

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

In respect of the newly created post of ‘Deputy Chief Executive’ –

  1. How will the sums of money required to create this post and fund its continuance ensure that the current levels of service provision to meet public health needs for now and into the future remain available;
  2. how will the £80,000 per year plus required to resource this post translate to patients awaiting treatment or otherwise from any of the Health Services provisions under this responsibility?

    And can you explain where your Department managed to find the funding for the newly created post of ‘Deputy Chief Executive’ and if this funding was –

    1. found from within and, if so, where and how;
    2. agreed additional funding from Treasury and, if so, did this take precedence over any Department initiatives or otherwise and, if so, what; and
  3. What if any impact had this had on the provision of front line services?


Mr Speaker

There is no newly created post of Deputy Chief Executive.

Oral Question 6

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

  1. Can you explain the recently revised escort criteria which your Department has approved and the reasons for the changes made;
  2. are you going to consult with Members of Tynwald before such changes are implemented?


Mr Speaker

  1. The changes to the escort criteria have come about as a result of the Department’s recent approval of the first elements of a developing Patient Transfer and Escort Strategy. The Strategy Group which drafted the document consisted of representatives from the Noble’s Hospital Medical and Nursing Staff and an officer from Health Services.

    The decision to revise the Medical Transport Certificate and escort criteria was taken after concerns were expressed by senior managers, and by anecdotal evidence from members of the public, about the potential number of patients who were travelling to the UK to receive NHS treatment (with an escort) but where an escort was not justified on clinical grounds. I must here emphasise that escorts should only be provided where it is clinically necessary. When taking into account that there were nearly 4000 escort transfers during 2006/07, representing about 40% of the total numbers of people travelling at DHSS expense , the financial impact on the Department’s overstretched budget is significant and is estimated at between £500 - £600K per annum.

    To simplify and rationalise the previous criteria for patient travel (not just for escorts) which had nine individual categories, the Department has now agreed to reduce the number of categories to four.

    By doing so it is intended that Hospital Consultant staff will have a much clearer framework of guidance around the whole process of referral to the UK and be better able to judge issues surrounding NHS referrals to the UK, of which the need for an escort is but a part.

    Whilst the change to the escort criteria was driven by the need to identify and then minimise the number of any inappropriate escorts, the Department remains totally committed to ensuring that those patients who, in the opinion of their doctor, have a clear clinical need for an escort will continue to receive the full support of the Department.

  2. As this is primarily a clinical issue, I do not intend to consult with Members of Tynwald prior to implementing any changes.

Oral Question 7

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

  1. With regard to the transport for adults with learning disabilities to day services, did you consult with the users of this service and their families before taking the decision to cancel the contract with the transport service provider; and, if not
  2. Why not?


Mr Speaker

My Department has a commitment to provide appropriate social care services through the Department’s Social Services Division for people with learning disabilities and their families.

The Department provides a range of daytime activities at Eastcliffe Resource Centre and other locations, primarily in the Douglas area, for people with learning disabilities.

In order to support families, a service has been made available in the past for whoever needs it to transport people between their houses and these daytime activities and this service has been provided by a local transport company.

A survey of families and service users was undertaken in December 2006 with regard to transport arrangements, but results were inconclusive.

This transport is very expensive relative to the number of people transported, and it is the department’s belief that better value can be obtained by spending the money in other ways for the benefit of people with learning disabilities. As a result, the department has decided to end the current transport arrangements on 1st February 2008.

Officers of the Department have commenced working with all users and families to see what options are available to them and what arrangements can be put in place, which could include, for example, transport sharing, extending hours of opening to meet family needs where the family could otherwise provide transport, and helping some people to travel independently.

The Department will ensure that all users of the care services will be able to continue with their normal range of activities.

Oral Question 8

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

  1. Has the Isle of Man Health Service for the last seven years been collecting cancer registration data which has been collated via the North West Cancer Intelligence Service and paid for by the DHSS;
  2. in respect of the data collected, has the Isle of Man Health Service retained the responsibility for analysing and publishing this data;
  3. will you instruct the Chief Medical Officer of Health to release this data forthwith and thereafter on an annual basis; and
  4. what has been the total cost of the service provided by the Northwest Cancer Intelligence Service over the past seven years?


Mr Speaker

  1. We have a contract with the Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Registry(MCCR) who collate IOM data on Cancer. MCCR changed their name for their Liverpool based office to Merseyside & Cheshire Cancer Registry.
  2. The data belongs to Isle of Man and from this point of view the responsibility for analysing the data is ours; this does not mean that we have to analyse the data ourselves.

    On grounds of cost effectiveness and quality it is often preferable that the analysis of this data is carried out by someone who is regularly analysing such data. We also need to ensure that:

    1. ) the data is accurate
    2. the data is complete
    3. that it is properly interpreted so that erroneous conclusions are not drawn

    The data is being analysed by the Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Registry who will provide comparative data for NW of England and this is currently happening.

  3. With due respect, I wish to point out that there is no post called Chief Medical Officer of Health in DHSS; have never had such a post.

    I am aware that the analysis of our Cancer data is being progressed under the auspices of the Cancer Taskforce and I will ask the Chair of the Cancer Taskforce to ensure that the data is published in a format that can be understood easily.

  4. The contract is with Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Network and the cost of the contract is £7.5k per annum.

    The contract covers a number of areas including collection and preliminary analysis of the data, training for those collecting the data, checks of data quality, participation in specific projects etc.

Oral Question 9

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

Have you now set a definitive date for the introduction of a breast screening recall system?


Mr Speaker

In answer to the Hon Member’s Question, I can advise that following a series of delays outside of the Department’s control, the required licence issued by the UK National Programme has recently been received. This has enabled the Department to progress its implementation plan, incorporating the necessary IT requirements, for a breast screening call and recall programme.

The Department is now working with others towards a provisional date for the introduction of the new system of late January 2008. Whilst at this stage the date is subject to the external partners in the project confirming that they can undertake their key tasks within the deadlines set down, the Department remains optimistic that it will be in a position to formally confirm the date identified in the near future.

Written Question 2

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 job description/job specification in relation to the newly created post of ‘Deputy Chief Executive’ has been designed to ensure that only one internal candidate will qualify to place a bona fide application and that any other credible local candidates have been ‘designed out’?



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