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Act to establish Manx Care clears final parliamentary hurdle

Monday, 22 March 2021

A once-in-a-generation shift in the way health and care services are provided to the Island’s population will begin with the launch of Manx Care in just under two weeks’ time.

The new operational body focused on delivering services is clear to go-live after the Manx Care Act 2021 received Royal Assent and Tynwald approved an Order establishing the organisation as a statutory body from 1 April 2021. It means the legislation required to form Manx Care has completed its parliamentary journey and the stage is set for the first public sector body of its kind in the Isle of Man to start its work.

The creation of Manx Care involves an historic separation of the Department of Health and Social Care’s current functions. The change will see Manx Care focus on delivering a comprehensive range of services to the public, operating at arms’ length from the Department of Health and Social Care which will be responsible for strategic direction setting, policy development, oversight and assurance.

The range and scope of services to be provided by Manx Care and the objectives and principles it must uphold will be set out by the Department each year in a high level document known as the Mandate. The first Mandate from DHSC to Manx Care was received by Tynwald last week.

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:

‘The light has gone from amber to green so it is all systems go for the launch of Manx Care in April. After extensive research, consultation and planning over almost two years, the Island’s new patient and service user-focused body is nearing its launch date. This is a fundamental restructure in which DHSC will also change.

‘Put simply, Manx Care will be purely focused on its core business of delivering a defined set of health and care services. Its operations will be distanced from the decision-making process and the mechanics of running a health and care system, in line with the model recommended by Sir Jonathan Michael in his landmark review of the Island’s health and care services.'

He added:

‘There will be no immediate change for Manx residents after the launch of Manx Care, as they will continue to receive their care and treatment as they did before. Establishing Manx Care is the first step on a journey; work is underway across the board to improve our services and access to them, while the Transformation project continues to design sustainable, integrated health and care services to meet the needs of the Island now and in the future.’

Ensuring the safety and quality of services across the board will be a key responsibility for DHSC. An extensive programme of ongoing assessments, inspections and reporting by a number of external and internal agencies and professional bodies is in the advanced stages of planning. This will include for the first time, reviews of Island services by the UK Care Quality Commission.

Patient and service user representatives are currently being recruited by both the DHSC and Manx Care, to ensure views and suggestions from the public are represented on a more formal basis than in the past. The initiative will see the representatives gather and submit feedback on the lived experience of users of services to the organisations which plan, fund and provide them. 

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