While the Health and Social Care Minister says that there are ‘serious issues’ in some aspects of Manx Care, he has detailed what cultural improvements are taking place.

Lawrie Hooper’s comments come after a series of damming reports, with one into allegations made a number of whistleblowers, finding evidence of bullying, blame culture, nepotism, opportunities being signposted to allies, micromanagement and professional views being undermined.

He was asked on the matter in Tynwald by Speaker of the House Juan Watterson.

Some of the initiatives that he detailed include refreshed care values which have been rolled out to all parts of the organisation as well as the development of a care values-based recruitment framework.

Other initiatives are the creation and implementation of a performance development plan framework, a buddy scheme for those who move to the island, the development of an equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, a staff suggestion scheme, establishment reviews to facilitate safe staffing levels, exit interviews and an executive and chief executive officer visibility and listening programme in place.

Mr Hooper said: ‘Each initiative has individual expected outcomes however the overall ambition is to improve staff satisfaction and staff retention. There is no clear organisation wide baseline from which cultural improvement can be measured.

‘However, Manx Care has commissioned an organisation-wide NHS staff survey which will take place in October 2023.

‘This will provide a clear whole organisation baseline from which year on year improvement can be more accurately and objectively measured.’

The last staff survey was in May 2021, which got particularly low scores for feeling valued, feeling listened to and inspired by the organisation. Mr Hooper said that the costs of the workforce and culture-led initiatives in 2022 to 2023 was £238,144. He said that the costs of the Manx Care led initiatives cannot be quantified as they are built into the business as usual costs of the organisation.

Mr Hooper said: ‘Whether Manx Care considers them successful all cultural improvement activities have been developed in conjunction with staff and respond to what Manx Care staff feel are important. By their very nature, some initiatives have clear and measurable outcomes, others less so.

‘It is also evident that there has been more progress in some areas of the organisation than others.

‘As part of the DHSC inspection process, the CQC identified a number of services where cultural improvement was evident and reported by staff. Detailed information on this reporting can be found in the published reports.

‘Importantly, these external inspections recognised that Manx Care was at the start of developing a culture of learning, improvement, and innovation and the senior leadership team were introducing the just culture framework to reinforce an open no blame culture.’

He said that Manx Care has developed a three year people, culture and engagement strategy which is in final draft and due to be ratified in September.

The workforce and culture team of the Health and Care transformation programme is working on the following programmes: Skills Gap Audit to support workforce modelling; map all available career pathways; continue bespoke cultural support within teams identified as a priority; launch NHS style survey in October and encourage staff to achieve high completion rate.

Lawrie Hooper said that there has been a lot of commentary from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with 70 reports published that he says talk extensively about culture.

He said: ‘It is fair to say that in some areas of Manx Care there are definite cultural issues, or definite barriers to change, but in other areas staff feel very valued, they feel very respected and listened to.’

‘I think there are very serious issues in some parts of the organisation, we have accepted that for quite some time.’

He said it is his understanding that the programmes are are predominantly being led from the staff side.

He added: ‘There is no shying away from the scale of the problem that is being faced and the challenge that is in front of us that needs to be tackled, I believe that it is being tackled, but it will take some time.’