Radical plans for a shake-up of the management structure at Noble’s Hospital have been unveiled.
The changes follow an independent review commissioned by Chief Minister Allan Bell into concerns about the running of the hospital.
That report recommends a new framework with a hospital managing director reporting to a governing board.
This board would oversee the operation of the hospital, which has annual running costs of £80 million and 1,800 staff.
Concerns over patient safety at Noble’s were highlighted in a letter signed by 10 consultants in October 2012.
This led to calls for the resignation of Health Minister David Anderson, a motion of no confidence in Tynwald, and prompted the intervention of the Chief Minister.
Mr Bell said: ‘As the Beamans report recognises, the professionalism and dedication of staff at all levels in Noble’s is impressive, and they provide a high standard of service and care for the people of the island.
‘But it is clear that the pressures on the management have been considerable, and the situation has not been helped by a structure that is no longer adequate to meet modern demands.
‘As Chief Minister I am pleased to have been able to add my support to the department’s work to address issues around Noble’s Hospital, and to find a way forward which should help to reinforce public confidence.’
The report by Beamans managements consultants concludes that the hospital should be given clearer authority and responsibility for day to day delivery of services – leaving the department to set the strategic direction.
It states: ‘Looking ahead, the key challenge for Noble’s is to maintain public confidence.
‘The review concludes that it is doubtful whether that confidence can be maintained simply by adapting existing hospital and departmental mechanisms of government and management.
‘In short, more radical change is required and a more modern, patient centred, accountable system of governance and accountability needs to be put in place.’
In the review it states the performance of the hospital and management cannot be judged ‘in any meaningful way because there is nothing to judge performance against save historic levels of performance’.
It continues ‘the absence of an effective operational planning process makes it impossible to make judgements on the allocation of resources between different aspects of acute health care’.
Health Minister David Anderson said: ‘I welcome the Beamans report and its recommendations which will help further strengthen the management of Noble’s Hospital and support staff in delivering services in an increasingly challenging environment.
‘The proposed board structure, which include non-executive directors, will provide further involvement of lay people in the strategic oversight and governance of the hospital, which I’m sure will enhance public confidence.’
The overall effect of the changes is expected to be ‘broadly cost neutral’.
No changes to management personnel have been announced as part of the shake-up.
Any changes will be part of a wider Scope of Government review, which includes the pending remerger of the departments of health and social care.