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Government 'concerned' after BMA raises cultural issues

Department of Health and Social Care respond to unions comments

The government says it's 'concerned' about issues raised by the British Medical Association.

Whilst on a visit to the Isle of Man, the union's Chair of Council Professor Philip Banfield claimed a culture of fear medics are facing on the Island is among the worst in the British Isles.

He also revealed his intention to escalate Dr Rosalind Ranson's case to the UK government.

The Department of Health and Social Care insists public servants should have 'confidence' to 'speak up and raise concerns' without fear of reprisal.

The government department further claims it was due to meet with the BMA but Professor Banfield cancelled the appointment.

The full statement to Manx Radio from the Department of Health and Social Care:

"The Department of Health and Social Care is committed to ensuring that Manx Care provides high-quality, safe services for the people of the Isle of Man.

"All public servants, including health care professionals, have a duty to speak up and raise concerns. Public servants should have confidence that they can do so without the fear of comeback or reprisal and know that they are protected by internal Government policies and Manx employment legislation.

"Over the last 12 months, the Isle of Man Government has strengthened its processes around how staff can raise concerns about wrongdoing. This has included a review of the Government’s Whistleblowing Policy and the launch of a new Integrity Line, operated by Crimestoppers, that enables public servants to raise serious concerns, anonymously, should they wish. 

"There have also been other developments as a result of implementing the recommendations from Sir Jonathan Michael’s independent review into health and social care services in the Isle of Man.

"The law in relation to a duty of candour has been strengthened, making it a legal responsibility for organisations and individuals responsible for health and social care to be open and transparent. 

"A series of external independent reviews of health and care services by the UK’s Care Quality Commission, on behalf of the DHSC, is almost completed, and includes an examination of workplace culture. Inspectors have engaged directly with care professionals.

"Developing a positive working culture is one of Manx Care’s four key priorities. Much has been achieved since Manx Care’s creation, but it is acknowledged that there remains much work to do in this area.

"The Department is concerned about issues raised by Professor Banfield. The Minister for Health and Social Care was due to meet with Professor Banfield during his visit, however the Professor cancelled the meeting.

"The Department would welcome the opportunity to work with the Professor and the BMA to discuss the issues raised."

You can listen to Professor Banfield in discussion with Manx Radio's Sian Cowper HERE.

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