Healthcare body says sorry over minutes

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Saturday 10th September 2022 10:35 am
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Manx Care has issued a formal apology to the Information Commissioner after admitting that an error had been made in the minutes of a meeting.

The statement in question, which is now described as having had ‘factually inaccurate wording’, said that primary care integration was being ‘hampered by the inability to satisfy the ICO of the robustness of data-sharing agreements’.

The minutes from the meeting on April 6 also suggested that the information commissioner had been making clinical judgments about the level of information clinicians had access to.

Manx Care chair Andrew Foster clarified that the commissioner had not made any such judgements, and that the reference to specific data-sharing agreements was also inaccurate and was meant to refer to data-sharing in general.

It comes after Manx Care chief executive Teresa Cope told a board meeting that there had been more issues than expected discovered during the organisation’s first year.

The healthcare body was founded last April for the purpose of operating at arm’s length from the government’s Department of Health and Social Care – separating policy decision making from the operational delivery of medical services.

While introducing the healthcare body’s first annual report, Ms Cope said that over the past year the body had uncovered ‘many issues and deficits that have needed to be addressed’.

Manx Care is also set to be operating on a £9m deficit in its budget by the end of March next year.

Non-Executive board member Mr Wood told the board meeting that while this was ‘clearly not acceptable, it should not be a surprise’ because the health service has been ‘£10m or so adrift for many years’.

He explained that ‘many of the costs were employee related’, and to combat this a ‘fit for purpose human relations recruitment and retention strategy that is facilitated by fast-tracked decision making by empowered managers’.

Mr Wood added: ‘We need to recruit quicker, and it is not just about the money, it [the issue] touches accommodation costs, lifestyle, education and development that is fit for purpose’.

In addition to staff costs, he explained that most of Manx Care’s additional funding which had been voted on last year had been absorbed by drug costs and noncontrollable items.

Mr Wood suggested that despite staring ‘from a low baseline’ in terms of the budget, perhaps the budget system was in need of a ‘fundamental root and branch review’.

He added that the forecasted deficit was as a result of ‘increased scrutiny by a professional board’ which was seeking to implement a cost improvement plan, and came amidst a background of Brexit, Covid, Ukraine, and ‘resultant global pressures in the healthcare industry’.

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