Mental health services are overdue more funding, says the Health Minister.

Lawrie Hooper has committed to further improving the mental health facilities for the Manx public.

This comes after an independent report was conducted into the health service in the island.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of English and Welsh healthcare services, however, it was asked to conduct an assessment of the Manx Care system in Sir Jonathan Michael’s review of the health and social care service in the island.

The CQC does not have any jurisdiction in the Isle of Man but can recommend areas for improvement to Manx Care and elevate concerns to the DHSC.

Mr Hooper said: ‘We do have quite significant waiting lists for CAMHS, for adult mental health services and the community mental health.

‘There’s a lot of work going on at the moment to try to push some of those people on those waiting lists into first-contact practitioners.

‘Actually, there are so many people referred to CAMHS, who don’t need a CAMHS-level of service. They need an earlier stage lower-level intervention that we don’t currently offer.’

During the assessment, the CQC found that there were 32 unscreened referrals, 98 patients waiting for an initial assessment and 151 patients waiting for a neurodevelopment disorder screening assessment.

Mr Hooper continued: ‘If we can create that low-level first contact intervention, you will have the effect of putting people into the right place to get the care they need rather than sitting on a waiting list for years to get a level of care that maybe isn’t appropriate for them in the first place.’

There was a trial period of this conducted between Manx Care and Isle Listen, in which 150 people were seen by the charity to assess the requirements of the people waiting for a mental health assessment through Manx Care.

Almost £20 million of funding has already been pumped into clearing waiting lists in Manx Care, including mental health services, however, Mr Hooper, MHK for Ramsey, believes that more can be done and this effort deserves more investment.

He said: ‘The question becomes how do we do this in the right way, so we can get funding from Tynwald to do it without necessarily going to Tynwald saying “Can I have another big wad of cash please?”

‘It is absolutely a commitment that I’ve got.

‘I’m more than willing to have that fight with Tynwald.

‘We should be funding this stuff that should be tackling these waiting lists select to do it.’

Manx Care will now be assessing the recommendations put forward by the CQC and coming up with costs for the action plan it is put in place to act on its shortcomings.