A strategy outlining the principles for the development of the Island’s health and social care services over the next five years will be presented for approval at the October sitting of Tynwald.
In a foreword to the document, Health and Social Care Minister Howard Quayle MHK stresses the importance of integrating services as the key to meeting individual needs and curbing costs. He observes that the Island’s small scale makes it well placed to achieve integration.
The Minister writes:
‘We have benefited from studying the improvements made by other care systems in the UK and the rest of the world. But we have no need to copy them. The Isle of Man has a golden opportunity to take the lead and become an international role model of integration.’
The document sets out five strategic goals:
- For people to take greater responsibility for their own health, emphasising good lifestyle choices and illness prevention.
- To help people stay well in their own homes and communities, avoiding hospital or residential care whenever possible, requiring closer integration of community services, to treat people as complete individuals, and more partnership with third sector and faith groups.
- To improve services for people who really do need care in hospital, modernising procedures, using telemedicine, and ensuring pathways to specialised care from UK centres when it is not available on-Island.
- To provide safeguards for people who cannot protect themselves, supporting vulnerable children and adults, increasing foster care.
- To ensure that people receive good value health and social care, making better use of staffing, innovation and technology to generate significant efficiency and productivity savings.
Subject to Tynwald approval of the strategy, the next stage will be for each division in the Department of Health and Social Care to produce its own more detailed document showing how it will contribute to the strategic goals.
The document explains:
‘This strategy is comprehensive, but it does not spell out the detail. That is for us to work on together, and get right. We know that we need to work with a broad alliance of clinicians, health and social care professionals, patients, service users, clients and carers to create properly joined-up care for each individual. Everyone in the Isle of Man will have the opportunity to get involved and give their view.’
The strategy document is currently available on the Tynwald website.