The Department of Health and Social Care will seek approval for up to £10 million in additional funding for Manx Care at the March sitting of Tynwald.
The requested funding is in excess of the forecast £7 million overspend, and will include a contingency. It is required to address a number of cost pressures encountered by the Island’s health and social care services since April 2021, including:
- Rising drug costs as a result of COVID-19 and Brexit
- The high costs of agency and bank personnel who have been critical in delivering services due to COVID-19 related absences as well as covering vacancies in an intensely competitive job market
- Higher than budgeted costs of care for patients referred to the UK
- The high cost of treatments for uncommon complex conditions where it is impossible to reliably plan or budget for the level of treatment required in any given year
- Pay awards for staff in excess of the budgeted amount of one per cent.
Lawrie Hooper MHK, Minister for Health and Social Care, said:
'The team at Manx Care has worked exceptionally hard to continue to deliver services to the public during an incredibly challenging time. Although forecasting a successful delivery of the 2021/22 cost improvement programme, I recognise that the pandemic and its wider impact has brought significant pressures on Manx Care - such as rising drug costs and high levels of staff absence, requiring cover from bank and agency staff, which incurs additional cost.
'These pressures have been coupled with a number of other factors, such as the cost of complex care packages and a pay award anticipated to be above the budgeted amount of one per cent. A new funding formula set out by Sir Jonathan Michael in his independent Health and Social Care Review is being considered as part of the 2022/23 Budget, which I hope will put Manx Care on a firm footing for its second, and future years, of operation.'
Teresa Cope, Chief Executive of Manx Care, said:
'Manx Care is working hard to deliver an efficient, compassionate and responsive health and social care service for the people of the Isle of Man. We continue our efforts to fulfil our aspiration to become the best small-Island health and care system in the world. We have had a very challenging first year with significant pressures, particularly staffing costs and drug prices. It is hoped once the funding issues have been absorbed, and the pressures from COVID-19 subside, we will begin to see the cost savings and efficiencies that we are working so hard to achieve.'
The Department of Health and Social Care sets out the services it requires Manx Care to deliver in an annual mandate, and provides the budget allocated by Treasury accordingly.