More money is needed for local surgeries to take pressure off the hospital, says Health Minister Lawrie Hooper.

The MHK for Ramsey wants less money to go towards Noble’s Hospital and more to go to primary care.

This comes after Manx Care took control of the Ballasalla Medical Centre earlier this month after the operator of the practice handed back its contract.

Mr Hooper said: ‘We felt it was important that those services were provided in that area and Manx Care stepped in and essentially taken over the running of the practice.

‘That is potentially a model for the future where you could see a hybrid model where some more of the practices run by Manx Care directly as opposed to having this contracted out.’

The minister called GPs a ‘core’ element of the primary healthcare sector of the island.

He said: ‘The model that we have in places like Ramsey, I think works quite well. You can see a pharmacist, you can see a paramedic, you can see an advanced nurse practitioner. It doesn’t have to be a GP. That is the future of healthcare, that is the direction of travel.

‘It’s up to us to make sure that’s properly resourced and that it’s managed in the right way but, critically, that it is communicated to people in the right way.

‘It is a huge change from where we are currently, massively resourcing our hospital, to the detriment of primary and community care services.

‘I think that is what we’re trying to change, trying to stop pushing more of that resource away from a “Noble’s model”, and into a more community-based model.’

Mr Hooper was speaking at a briefing about the assessment into Manx Care by the Care Quality Commission, a health inspector from the UK that was recommended to us by Sir Jonathan Michael in his assessment of the health services of the island in 2018.

The CQC inspected most aspects of the island’s healthcare provider, including all of the general practices.

It found that nine of the practices currently do not always provide safe care, but hopes to change this with more funding to the primary healthcare sector and helping people before they feel like they need to go to Noble’s Hospital.

He said: ‘It’s the right care at the right time in the right place, which is the department’s thinking about how this model should work going forwards.’