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Galen

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  1. As to regular '9-5' jobs in IOM Govt having a blacklist I have no experience, however there appears to be a strong correlation between those appointed to IOM Govt Tribunals and Boards as Non-Execs, and membership of the 'Lodges / Soroptimists'. Further it is interesting that the Non-Exec posts (e.g Post Office, MUA) which pay Non-Execs several thousand pounds a year involve a 20 min interview with politicians (often who have no experience in the board in question or of interviewing!) and no HR personnel present, whereas the Tribunals involve a 1 hour interview with 3 Appointments Commission members and yet pay lay members only £78 / session (plus travel expenses) whereas the other Tribunal professionals are paid an hourly rate. Some people I have spoken to over the years indicate that overall, there is a dislike, especially amongst politicians, of people who work in IOM Govt and are over qualified e.g. anything beyond a first degree.
  2. and don't forget he has recently been recruiting for a Deputy......... "The Isle of Man where you can"
  3. As I recall he is the nephew of Clive Wild who used to do the IOM Police IT. A noticeable part of his career history that is not mentioned is his involvement with the UK NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) - another unmitigated disaster some might say! He used to commute from the IOM to Leeds to the DHSS HQ in Quarry House and its associated offices every week for several years. And yes he will be on Performance Review, as are most public servants, but with the low level of understanding of IT / Data Security / Data Governance of his seniors, he no doubt will convince them he is doing a splendid job in difficult circumstances. After all he will have the full support and confidence of the Chief Secretary having worked for him when in the IOM Cabinet Office.
  4. IOM NHS healthcare has for the last 20+ years paid certain of its workers more than their UK counterparts (e.g. consultants, nurses, radiography staff, pharmacists). Thus making a direct comparison with any UK healthcare figures need to needs to include an adjustment. Nevertheless, the issue here, I believe, is supply and demand. Even with higher pay the Island continues to face recruitment problems in healthcare (and, in fairness, other professions too). For me, the issue is why would those with the skills the Island needs come to the Island in the first place? It would appear money is not the only reason. As this forum has recognised there are many other issues too, such the cost and quality of housing, a variety of affordable things to do a family, amenities that appeal to people, an overburdensome bureaucracy (e.g. the excessive number of local authorities, housing associations for the population served that arguably meddle rather then making proper policy), excessive number of politicians (in the UK the IOM population would barely justify 1 MP), costs of living, costs of travelling on and off the Island, etc Working in health, for many, used to be a vocation, a desire to help those who were ill or frail. With time, it has changed and now for many, is just a job, though for some, a very well paid job. As nation we need to face the reality that if we chose to live here, we need to seriously 'up our game' and make it attractive to live and work. This would include addressing some of the issues and deals that are conducted behind closed doors by a small minority who interests are more about themselves than for the community in which they live, and this includes what we are prepared to pay for our public services.
  5. Merry Christmas and an especial 'thank you' to those who will give up some of the festive season to look after and care for those in hospital or in the community. In health care, and especially in acute (hospital) care) around 75% of the budget is spent on salaries and wages, the remaining 25% being on everything else including food, medications, electricity, gas, water, maintenance etc. Consequently, when cuts are made, it is the '25%' bit of the budget that gets hit the hardest, which includes the infrastructure framework that holds everything together. Add to the mix that modern hospital management structures breed an 'us and them' culture. Despite what some medics may think the ward cleaner is just as an important part of the clinical team as a fellow medic is. If the cleaner does not do their job properly then ward acquired infection become rife. Equally if the catering staff do not do their job properly patients can get the wrong nutrition (typically 50% of patient meals are specials e.g. low salt, high protein etc. If the HSDU staff do not do their job then the operating trays are not sterilised properly and patients get infected. If maintenance staff do not do their job properly then things do not work. etc. etc. In other words healthcare is a team effort - and as the old adage goes "There is no 'I' in team". Regretfully, certain of our health care staff / managers (invariably the bullies) either don't realise this or care to ignore it and see themselves superior to others and demonstrate their beliefs in the way they treat /ignore others involved in patient treatment. The result is poor, uncoordinated healthcare and incidents, which when investigated, culminates in the time honoured declaration that 'lessons will be learnt' - but rarely are! Hospitals used to be fun places at Christmas with, where appropriate, staff dressing up trying to make it a bit more joyful for those patients could not go home. Frail, elderly people with no family were often 'found to have small problem that needed looking into' so that they could be kept in for the few days of Christmas instead of being discharged back to a cold home with little or no food. It was a community endeavour where people cared for, and about, each other. Arguably, times changed when general management was introduced into the health services and the focus became the bottom (financial) line and achieving targets that were linked to bonus /performance payments, more staff, bigger offices etc. While old style of health services certainly had its problems, a hospital solely run by a senior medic and matron supported by an administrator, achieved a lot. With limited technology in comparison to what is available nowadays, the system worked because there was trust and people respected each other no matter what their role was. The raison d'etre for being in healthcare was to help patients - a reason that sadly seems to be often lost in the present systems and one that sits at the heart of much of the acrimony over issues such as pay. Merry Christmas everyone.
  6. The BMA tend to look after the Doctors, RCN for nurses though Unison and Unite are sometimes involved. Prospect took over the old IOM Government Officers Association (GOA) a number of years ago with the arrival of Ms Angela Moffat, Bernie Moffat's daughter. GOA was primarily the recognised Trade Union for IOM Civil Servants for T&Cs and pay negotiations. Prospect, who cover all sorts of industries in the UK including football referees, pilots, the power engineering sector etc. then, under Angela's management started on the IOM to widen its net to cover other areas of government (i.e.non-civil service) and the private sector e.g. telecoms. When Angela Moffat left for Northern Ireland a couple of years ago, Mick Hewer, formerly of Unite I recall, took up the local Prospect reins. The issue with any union negotiations is that rarely is strike action an opening gambit. It is obviously an option, but only after exhausting all other avenues, since if undertaken, leaves unions with the problem that if the employer does not capitulate what then? There needs to be a big union pot of money to pay the staff on strike and few unions have the funds to keep subsidising action that is not progressing. Although, Prospect's General Secretary, Mike Clancy, is a scouser, I am unaware of him being a militant and instead someone who prefers to do proper negotiations. A well-educated man (Prospect gave him a sabbatical to do his MBA), Mike Clancy I suspect will be encouraging some local 'sabre rattling' going on while talks are being held informally in order to try and reach a settlement. A number of years ago, each 1% pay rise cost the Manx economy roughly £1.5m, so unless the magic money tree has been found, I would expect the employer is being told by Treasury to keep settlements as low as possible and why talks have stalled, thus the threat of strike action.
  7. From medics I have spoken to over the years the problem stems from the fact that the IOM is not at the cutting edge (no pun intended) of the medical world. It's routine work as the 'specialist stuff" gets sent off Island - mainly to the North West (Liverpool, Alder Hey, Clatterbridge etc) to medical centres where its their routine daily work. The result generally is any medic looking for career progression does not want to come to the Island. Those that do tend to already be at the level where they are unable to progress further e.g. a consultant. They usually have a youngish family, know the Island, want to settle down and want to 'soft peddle' for the next 20+ years doing the routine stuff. In more recent times the lack of other professionals (Dentists, vets, pharmacists, teachers etc), expensive housing, higher costs of living, weather dependent travel on/off Island, and lack of decent shops, intrusion into health matters by politicians who know very little about health but think otherwise, any attraction of coming here is considerably diluted. Yes, we have some good medics, but increasingly they are rare breed. One solution might be for the Island to be a formal offshoot of say the Royal Liverpool Trust, where medics can be formally rotated between working in a big acute hospital (Liverpool) and the provisional one (the IOM). This would get round some of problems of getting locums and mean the 'top notch ' medics would be here for say 4 weeks in every 3months. Perhaps not ideal, and would need some creative thinking given the tax position etc. but is an option. Increasing the use of telehealth with remote diagnostics such as the Island did with fetal medicine (I not sure if it is still being used but was a successful service for those who needed it) might be also worth doing but requires serious investment in IT, staff and training. With the Island's population, being in health terms, 'small', we are always going to have to send patients to the UK for conditions that fall out of the 'routine medicine' or are specialised such as heart, neonate babies, certain types of cancer etc and that is yet another price we pay for living on an Island. This lack of top notch medics and a 'second class' health service means that those that are attracted to the Island to run the service from a managerial point of view, tend to be those who are unhappy with the UK system, don't want to work abroad, are looking for more money, aren't good enough for the UK system, or are looking to use it to fill in until the next job elsewhere becomes available. Staying in the UK and not living here means they can move and go to job interviews more easily.
  8. When I started the original thread 15 years ago I was the proverbial angry young man. It incensed me (and continues to do so) that there considerable talent in our community for which having a degree is necessary to getting certain jobs / promotion. (the fact that only a small portion of what is learnt on the degree is often actually used in practice is a separate issue!) In fairness, since 2006 things have changed with access to education through online learning really taking off and IOM students being more recognised in terms of fee parity with UK students. However, for those that are on the "wrong side" of the digital divide it becomes a double whammy - high costs of courses and the initial costs of a computer and internet access. Added to which, as I personally found out, the provider of the courses (in my case the OU) periodically review the content of their courses and change them part way through. They do this by preventing new entrants to the old course and then for a period run a tandem course, tapering the old course out and launching the new one. This can then mean that the content of the old course which was recognised by a professional body, is no longer valid, the professional body only recognising the new course content. The only way round this is to stop the current (old course) and start the new one - meaning that the learning to date on the old course is wasted along with the fees that have been paid. In my case, I could not afford the new course and changed career direction. At the end of the day it has to be excepted that education establishments are businesses first and foremost, the education of its customers (ie students) being secondary to the organisations financial well-being and future.
  9. Up until the opening of the new hospital, old Nobles was one of the few places in the world to have its own medical oxygen producing equipment (the other was in the Channel Islands I recall). It was a pain to maintain and required regular input from the UK - BOC at the time. Self-generation of oxygen on site was, in part, required because the Steam Packet were understandably, unhappy with liquefied oxygen tankers being transported across the Irish Sea given the fire risk as the tankers periodically need to release tank pressure which was upwards of 95% pure oxygen. When the new Nobles hospital was built that changed and the Steam Packet and the IOM Govt came to an arrangement where the tankers would always be on the top deck of the boat so that any 'gassing off' was direct to atmosphere. A Vacuum Insulated Evaporator (VIE), effectively a huge pressurised oxygen storage vessel, was erected at the rear of the hospital site. The VIE gets refilled every couple of weeks from UK tankers depending on the demand within the hospital for oxygen which often peaks during the winter. Bottled gas I understand is still being delivered for home use of patients, nursing homes etc. To have a bottling plant is expensive and I would doubt the Manx demand for medical grade oxygen would make it a non-starter financially given it will be cheaper to import directly.
  10. From what I understand there are also increasing staffing /recruitment problems with dentistry and community pharmacy due to the relevant professionals going back to the UK/Ireland/ Europe. They are apparently fed up with they way they are being treated and with the Covid restrictions resulting in them (along with everyone else) not being able to see family member they are 'upping sticks'. They may have the potential to earn more here but end up spending a lot of it going back to see family and friends. When you then add into the mix the issues over shortage of teachers and other professionals such as vets, along with a lack of affordable housing, the Island is rapidly losing any attraction it had for professions to come and live here. Perhaps that is why Sir Jonathan, Andrew Foster or Ms Magson only visit!
  11. Galen

    Manx Care

    Looks as though Manx Care has upset the Information Commissioner https://www.inforights.im/organisations/latest-news-updates/2021/sep/enforcement-notice-issued-to-manx-care/
  12. To be clear, he was ringing door bells and engaging with people and not just pushing leaflets through doors. I know this as following his 'chat' with me he then went and round the corner and then went to my front door where he rang our door bell and started his 'spiel' with my wife - who kindly pointed out I had already spoken to him. His wandering around the estate without a mask didn't particularly bother me, but the door bell ringing and engaging with people did, as there are a number of elderly and vulnerable people in our neighbourhood, who still are shielding as they harbour a genuine fear of getting covid (I know this to be the case as my wife and I do still do their shopping for them.) As to the suggestion of bullying, I would remind you that one persons bullying is another person's assertion. I reserve certain assertions for dealing with uninvited, persons who cold call proffering goods or services with little or no knowledge of my needs or wants but are attempting to assert (or in your words, 'bully' me) me into taking/ buying/ believing. Finally, if your re-read my post, you will note that I merely pointed out to the gentleman that his daughter's performance as Commissioner does little to inspire me that she is capable of being a politician.
  13. My understanding has always been Directors of Public Health do not need to be medically qualified - though many are. Non-medically trained persons, but with a Masters in Public Health can (and are) appointed by some UK health care organisations to the role.Generally speaking their interests are in the health of populations, how diseases spread and can be controlled, what vaccine rollouts should be etc. and are not involved with individuals or small groups or people with similar conditions. Whereas, Medical Directors do need to be medically qualified and while perhaps having specialised expertise by virtue of their medical training, oversee all the medics in the establishment in which they work, usually a Trust - which can comprise of several hospitals. Such individuals take the collective view of their clinical colleagues and then decide what policy will be etc. I am sure Wrighty will correct me if things have changed!
  14. Yesterday, I found an elderly gentleman wandering around our estate looking lost. As it was a warm afternoon, I was concerned he may have sauntered out of a care setting without a carer or relative being aware and may be disorientated. Adopting appropriate social distancing I approached him asked if I could be of assistance. Bemused, at being approached I was promptly thrust a piece of paper and told he was campaigning on behalf of his daughter - Alison Lynch. Wearing no face mask, (which he took umbrage at being asked why not when he was canvassing on doorsteps) I asked a few simple questions pointing out, in my experiences, Ms Lynch's abysmal performance as Chair of Marown Commissioners. Daddy, unhappy that his daughter could be anything but perfect, stated that the Commissioners are very limited at what they can do. When I suggested that performance in parish pump room politics can often be a indicator of potential ability at national level I got a 'nil response' - a glazing over - a trait inherited by Ms Lynch in my limited dealings with her as a Commissioner when faced with a reasonable question that requires a specific answer. Reading Mrs Lynch's A4 flyer (which starts with an apology apparently I was out when Alison called!) full credit must be given to the fact that unlike some other candidates' literature, it uses a readable font and has the capital letters in the right places. It was interesting to note that Ms Lynch has conveniently omitted portions of her previous employment which I understand includes being a civil servant - embarrassment of having a 'dark past' I wonder? The flyer also included reference to the hospital nursing occupation of her spouse which is curious as I would have thought voters were more interested in the candidate not their partner. Or is having someone in the family who is affiliated to health a 'go faster' stripe in our political advancement? In concluding, as with the other literature that to date has been thrust into hands or pushed through my letter box, there was no colouring section, but in keeping with tradition there was a picture - presumably in case voters forgot what the candidate looked like or needed something during the winter months to hang by the fireplace to warn the children to keep away - something I feel many Middle voters will be doing!
  15. In relation to personal emails outside of Govt, as I recall, as with the use of telephones (mobile and desktop), IOM Govt used to permit 'minimal personal use' and written advice was given to staff and periodically reinforced. In other words, the occasional use, such as in an personal emergency, or making medical appointments, was acceptable, but it was with the understanding that staff would not use it unreasonably. It also came with the understanding that as personal emails and internet use were being carried out on the Govt equipment (phone, computers and IT systems) it could (and was) scrutinised for abuse of use and for abusive content. Further, staff had to accept the content of personal emails generated on Govt equipment or sent through its systems, 'belonged' to Government and subject to its policies and procedures including confidentiality aspects. Most Govt staff understood 'the rules' and kept personal use to a minimum and increasing saw little point in using the Govt systems as personal mobile phones became more widely available, with increased functionality that often surpassed that of Government equipment. However, as is always the case, there were a minority who saw the rules were there to be broken. When called challenged they pleaded all sorts of mitigating circumstances to the point where in some departments personal use of the Govt email system was banned as monitoring became a nightmare and wasted considerable time. Employees personal of the Internet was supposed to be only permissible during break times. Nowadays, it is probably now a situation were 'use and abuse' is tolerated as actively monitoring and then subsequently taking any action over abuse is just not worth the effort other in extreme cases. Personally, irrespective of any cost to the tax payer, I think any employee using Government email or Internet services other than for work related purposes, is unwise and should use their own devices whenever possible other than in genuine emergencies. In this way there is clear separation between work and private use.
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