An independent review team will carry out their first inspection of Noble’s Hospital on November 26 - and their findings will be made public.
It will be one of three pre-announced one-day visits a year carried out by a dozen-strong review team over the next three years.
Health Minister David Anderson announced in July that the West Midlands Quality Review Service had been commissioned to carried out an independent external inspection of all of the island’s health services, beginning with critical care at Noble’s Hospital.
Concerns over patient safety at Noble’s were raised by consultants in October last year and this summer backbench MHKs have called from the Minister to step down as they had no confidence in the Department of Health’s management.
But WMQRS director Jane Eminson, on a informal visit to make arrangements for the inspections, said politics would play no role in this review.
She said: ‘This is an independent review, providing an external assessment of the health services here.
‘Over three years, we will carry out three review visits a year, each visit reviewing a number of linked pathways of care. The first one on November 26 will look at critical care services. The rest have yet to be decided.
‘My understanding is that the Department of Health is committed to making our reports public. We will send our reports to the department to put in the public domain and then put it on our own website.’
She said each visit would take just one day in order to minimise the impact on the clinicians. ‘So long as we plan it properly, we can review a service in a day,’ she insisted.
She said there would be a multi-disiplinary team 10 to 12 strong, made up of clinicians relevant to the area of service being reviewed.
Reviewers will talk to staff and patients.
Ms Eminson said: ’We are planning the best way to get patients’ views into this programmes. It may be different for different reviews – you can’t interview patients in clinical care for example.’
She confirmed that all the visits could be announced.
‘Some people think unannounced visits are very important. What you see on a visit is what people think is good. The Care Quality Commission used to do unannounced visits but they are moving away from that.
‘But reviewers work in the same areas. They know what to look for, they know if they are being hoodwinked.’
The WMQRS, which is based at Sandwell Hospital in West Bromwich, was set up in 2009 as a collaborative venture by NHS organisations in the West Midlands to improve the quality of health services by undertaking reviews of clinical services.
It carried out more than 200 reviews in 2012/13. The island is not the first non-UK health service to be reviewed, the WMQRS having previously carried out a similar exercise in Guernsey.
The review aims to provide an assessment to the Manx public, politicians and the Manx NHS itself of the quality of care provided to patients.
It will identify areas where services are in need of improvement, particularly if there is an unacceptable risk to patient and/or staff safety and it will also comment on the sustainability, or otherwise, of services currently provided in the Isle of Man.