A formal Scheme setting-out services to be provided by the Island’s National Health and Care Service (NHCS) will be presented to Tynwald this month. The NHCS (General) Scheme 2018 outlines in detail measures on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and after-care.
It will be accompanied by the first NHCS Charter, setting out the Department’s commitment to providing health and care services and defining the rights and responsibilities of the public.
Members of the public were invited to give their views on the proposed Scheme and Charter during a public consultation in 2017 which attracted more than 300 responses. Please see the summary of the responses.
The Scheme covers two main areas:
- provision of services: hospitals, GP practices, dental, pharmaceutical and ophthalmic services, mental health services and public health programmes
- charges and contributions which will be made for those services
The Scheme confirms an increase in the per-item charge for prescriptions, from £3.85 to £5. Pre-payment certificates will rise from £19 to £20 for 4 months and from £54 to £60 for 12 months.
Dental charges will increase in line with England’s 2017-18 charges from £18.50 to £20.60 for a routine visit, and from £50.50 to £56.30 for most basic treatment. The cost of more complex treatment and for the fitting of bridges and crowns will rise from £219 to £244.30.
A number of exemptions which the Department previously considered removing will remain in place, partly as a result of feedback from the consultation. The full list of exemptions can be read in the National Health and Care Service (General) Scheme 2018 document. The scheme also makes it possible for those entitled to claim free services and prescriptions but who choose not to, to pay the relevant patient charges.
Eye tests will remain free to patients but in line with the Department’s Eye Care Strategy, will in due course be offered on a biennial basis instead of annually, except in certain clinical circumstances.
The Scheme clarifies the arrangements for charging visitors to the Island who require treatment in the health service and sets out how patients referred off-Island for treatment will have their travel and accommodation entitlements assessed.
The NHCS Charter sets out the values and guiding principles of the health and care service and makes a series of pledges to the public, service users and staff as to how their needs will be met.
It also makes clear that people have a responsibility for their own health and well-being in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the service. The Charter includes a commitment to offer service users straightforward, accessible and up-to-date information and to involve them fully in decisions about their own care.
Tynwald will be asked to approve the NHCS (General) Scheme 2018 while the NHCS Charter will be laid before the Court for information.