The health minister has said he is ‘disappointed’ it’s taken so long to get the new ombudsman body up and running.

In Tynwald this week Lawrie Hooper gave an update on the progress of the new ombudsman body, which will investigate complaints against organisations.

The Health and Social Care Ombudsman Body (HSCOB) has been in effect since October 31, but the new healthcare complaints regulations have been in place since July last year.

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

Any complaints made recently haven’t been looked into as of yet by either the IRB or the HSCOB.

Mr Hooper explained that there was a delay last year due to ‘administrative matters’.

He said: ‘It is disappointing that it’s taken this amount of time to get members appointed and get these matters resolved.

‘Unfortunately, it is the appointments commission that are responsible for appointing members to the body.

‘We are waiting with baited breath for these appointments to take place and I will be very happy to finally get this over the line.’

Rushen MHK Juan Watterson felt the delay would be detrimental to those who have made complaints, saying they would be ‘disappointed, expectedly so’.

Members are still being recruited.

‘The appointments commission are currently advertising the recruitment of the remaining HSCOB members,’ Mr Hooper said in the Tynwald sitting this week.

‘The remaining positions advertised are for a health professional, a social services professional, and up to six other lay persons.

‘The closing date for applications should be completed by the end of January with interviews projected for early February.

‘Successful appointments will be provided with appropriate training arranged by the department, following agreement with the HSCOB chair.

‘This body is expected to meet during February or March to start considering the first round of complaints.’

A budget of £81,570 was given to the new body, derived from the existing IRB allocated budget.