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New era ahead for health and care in Isle of Man

Friday, 26 March 2021

Manx Care LogoManx Care, the organisation tasked with delivering future health and care services to the Island’s population, is preparing to ‘go live’ in a week’s time. April 1 will mark the start of a new era in public services, involving the restructuring of the largest department in Government, an historic separation of Department of Health and Social Care functions and the creation of a bespoke operational body.

The first organisation of its kind in the Isle of Man, Manx Care is an entirely new statutory body, designed to operate at arms’ length from the Department of Health and Social Care and focused on the delivery of services to the public. Those services and the funding for them are defined in a formal agreement with DHSC known as the Mandate*, giving Manx Care scope to provide services either directly or by commissioning them from others. The organisation will be led by a newly-appointed executive leadership team and becomes the employer of around 2,500 health and care staff.

You are invited to interview the Manx Care Chair designate Andrew Foster CBE and Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford MBE via remote connection 12-1pm on Monday 29 March, under embargo until 0600 1 April 2021. Further details at the end of this release.

Manx Care has been running in shadow form alongside DHSC since the start of the year, in preparation for taking over the reins. For patients, service users and the public, services will continue to be provided as before at health and care settings across the Island. Longer-term work to design a range of integrated local services which meet an individual’s needs close to home, is being developed by the Health and Care Transformation Programme, Manx Care, DHSC and other parties.

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:

‘Manx Care’s launch is a line in the sand, signifying our determination to ensure modern, sustainable and relevant services are provided to the Island’s population. There is much still to do to embed our new approach. Transformation is a process not an event, and I am confident it will bear fruit for the benefit of patients, service users and the wider public.

He added:

‘This is very much the end of the beginning, as a new chapter opens and Manx Care begins its work. I wish all involved in the new organisation the very best for the journey ahead.’

An extensive programme of internal communication has been underway in recent months to keep colleagues informed about Manx Care’s plans, to gather feedback and help them feel part of the journey. The initiative has seen Manx Care’s Chair designate Andrew Foster CBE and CEO designate Teresa Cope host regular Q&A sessions, pen weekly blogs and connect with colleagues Island-wide. Colleagues helped to choose Manx Care’s new logo, which has created a distinctive brand and will be widely seen on uniforms, stationery and online in the future.

Teresa Cope said:

‘It is very exciting and a privilege to lead our new organisation, whose success matters to everyone in the Island. The establishment of Manx Care is a milestone on a longer journey to transform health and care services, and while change won’t happen overnight, it will come in time and we are committed to making tangible improvements in year one. From the start our new structure will give a prominent role to patients and service users, with colleague engagement and fostering a positive culture a priority for us.

She added:

‘We are starting with a fresh, outward looking approach which aims to be both dynamic and responsive, as we focus on delivering integrated high quality care in the right place at the right time. Input from those who provide our services and those who use them is paramount if this is to be achieved.’

Manx Care’s origins lie in Sir Jonathan Michael’s landmark review of health and care services, commissioned by the Council of Ministers in 2018. In his Final Report Sir Jonathan set out a series of far-reaching recommendations to ensure high quality, integrated, person-centred health and care services are provided which are affordable for the Island now and for future generations.

The recommendations were unanimously approved by Tynwald, and proved the starting point for a fundamental re-think of the existing system. One of the cornerstone proposals - to establish Manx Care as a purely service delivery body, with DHSC responsible for strategic policy, regulation and legislation – has now been realised, as both organisations prepare to make their debut.

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