Bishop to act as confidant on health service

Bishop Robert Paterson

Bishop Robert Paterson

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The Isle of Man’s bishop is to act as a listening ear for members of the public who wish to comment on the island’s health service.

Bishop Robert Paterson said he had agreed to take messages from anyone who felt moved to comment – good or bad – on the service they had received.

He told the Isle of Man Examiner all messages would be treated in strict confidence and he would offer the observations made, anonymously, to the independent health service audit, once it is under way.

‘The advantage the bishop has is he is in Tynwald but he is non-political. A politician has to think of the electorate. Even Legco members have to remember they are re-elected by Keys, so however altruistic they are there is always an ‘‘I’’ in there. I can be neutral. As a cleric I will take information that I will not pass on without their permission.’

So far as possible the bishop said he would be willing to speak to people in person. Alternatively he is encouraging people to write him a letter rather than sending an email.

‘We all sometimes send things in email that we regret, because there is no time to stop and think about it. Also emails can sometimes be trivial but I’m happy to meet people or receive a letter,’ he said.

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