Health Minister Lawrie Hooper this week told Tynwald that the hiring of the rest of the Health and Social Care ombudsman body was ‘due imminently’.

Speaker of the House of Keys Juan Watterson asked Mr Hooper for an update on the ombudsman as he could see no update on the body, aside from the hiring of an unnamed chair.

An ombudsman investigates complaints against organisations.

The appointment of the chair was made by the appointments commission, which will carry out the appointment of the rest of the independent body.

The ombudsman does not have an address available that the public can view, nor a telephone number.

However, there is a post office box to which the public can write and an email for public queries.

Mr Hooper also confirmed that he did not know of any cases that had been taken up by the new ombudsman body but would request more information from the body.

The ombudsman has been in effect since October 31, but the new healthcare complaints regulations have been in place since the July 22 sitting of Tynwald.

These regulations were put in place to make way for a new body to take over the responsibility of handling patient complaints from the Independent Review Body (IRB).

Any complaints that have been made recently or have not been looked into yet by either the IRB or the ombudsman could be taken over by the new body, with the consent of the complainant and agreement of both bodies.


Mr Watterson also asked Mr Hooper about the training that will be given to new members of the ombudsman but Mr Hooper did not have this information.

He told the Manx Independent: ‘We’re between a rock and a hard place. An ombudsman that isn’t up and running and an IRB that’s winding down. It isn’t very reassuring.’

Mr Watterson said he also understood the scope of the problem and acknowledged that the circumstances were not all down to the health minister.

He said: ‘In fairness it isn’t all in his hands, but the Appointments Commission seems to lack the urgency required.’