An independent review of health and social care services in the Isle of Man has concluded with publication of the final report. Containing 26 recommendations, Sir Jonathan Michael’s landmark report will be laid before Tynwald this month. At the heart of the report is a call for the creation of a new delivery organisation for health and social care services, separate from the body which sets policies and priorities. Government has accepted the report in its entirety and will seek Members’ approval for all the recommendations.
Sir Jonathan, a former consultant physician and chief executive of three UK NHS Foundation Trusts began work on the review in April 2018 with a remit to explore whether health and care services offer value for money, and whether current strategies and delivery of services are well placed to meet the Island’s needs. The review was commissioned by the Council of Ministers after Tynwald backed Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan’s call for an external review, to include options for funding a modern, fit for purpose health and care system for the Island.
Sir Jonathan received support from an advisory panel consisting of a range of skills and expertise. He also embarked on a series of meetings with a wide variety of stakeholders to understand the current operation of the Island’s health and care serices and the opportunity for change. These included DHSC staff at every level, along with other care providers, service users, third sector organisations, the business community, sectors of Government and politicians.
His team organised extensive engagement with the Manx public through a series of open forum meetings and an online portal, with regular invitations for views and suggestions to be submitted during the review period.
Welcoming the report Minister Cannan said:
‘I congratulate Sir Jonathan for producing a credible, robust and forthright report. It provides the detached external scrutiny necessary to plan a viable, fair system of health and social care for our people. The final report pulls no punches in addressing fundamental and searching questions regarding the need to reform service delivery and financial forecasts for the future. Sir Jonathan warns us the situation is likely to be unsutainable, so leaving things as they are simply isn’t an option.
‘Council of Ministers wholeheartedly supports the conclusions Sir Jonathan has reached, accepting that transformational change must begin, however great the challenge. I look forward to supporting the transformational programmes which will commence, provding that Tynwald is willing to embrace the report and its recommendations.’
Sir Jonathan produced a progress report in January this year in which key findings were highlighted, setting the direction for themes in the final report.
Sir Jonathan Michael said:
‘I have very much enjoyed working with the Isle of Man community over the last year. The ideas, thoughts and concerns of the people of the Island, and in particular those working across the health and care sytem, have been invaluable to me when putting together my final report. I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to contribute to the review.
‘The Island has a wonderful opportunity to achieve its vision to become an exemplar small island health and care system, delivering fully integrated services. These are the right strategic ambitions and the package of reform outlined in my report offers a means to achieve them, but will require significant work, resources and drive. The Island is dealing with many of the same issues faced by health and care systems in the UK and beyond, as demand grows and we live longer. They are formidable but not insurmountable challenges, and I wish the Island well in meeting them.’
The Review’s final report and the Council of Ministers’ response to it will be presented to Tynwald by Minister Cannan on Tuesday 21 May for Members to debate.
Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:
‘Sir Jonathan has taken a forensic look at our health and social care system and spoken to numerous deliverers and receivers of care, in myriad areas. His report is an outstanding contribution to our understanding of where improvement is needed and the action required. It is bound to trigger a lively public debate which is to be welcomed, as we all need to grasp the scale of challenges ahead to ensure we provide for future generations.’
‘I thank Sir Jonathan’s team and all who supported them for their commitment and professionalism in a monumental task. They have produced what may well prove to be a pivotal report for the future of healthcare in the Isle of Man.’