• September 28, 2015


The Celtic League have written to the Isle of Man Minister for Health following his ‘startling’ revelation that a person in his view unnecessarily occupied a hospital bed for a year holding up emergency treatments. The Minister is seeking powers to evict so called ‘bed-blockers’ from the hospital via a new Health and Social Care bill.

However the League says his anecdote about the ‘bed-blocker’ does not square with recent denials by the hospital about a bed shortage during the TT period. At the time hospital officials dismissed suggestions there was a problem. Also the League say the hospital also appeared to cope comfortably with a wave of admissions following the recent MGP races.

The League say if there really is a problem Health Chiefs should produce serious evidence and not treat the public with contempt. (see below):

“Howard Quayle MHK
Minister for Health and Social Care
Crookall House
Desmesme Road
Isle of Man

27th September 2015

Dear Minister,

I listened recently to an interview you gave to Manx Radio about bed-blocking at the islands main hospital and your ‘startling’ anecdote about a patient who had been in hospital apparently unnecessarily for almost a year (link):


Forgive me for being cynical but I must say that as you were about to launch a new Health and Care service Bill which must have taken many months to draft your ‘hospital squatter’ was a fortuitous find.

The problem of bed-blocking is one that has been around for years indeed well over two decades ago the (old) Noble’s hospital established the position of bed manager to handle the issue. Does that position still exist and indeed if it does what was the person involved doing to address the issue and more importantly how well resourced were they to deal with it?

Despite your handy anecdote the problem of bed-blocking often has multiple social connotations and is not simply the case of a person being unwilling to ‘hop out of bed’ and leave the hospital. They may have particular after care needs or other social problems with which they (or indeed their family are unable to cope).

Forgive me for being equally cynical that the Isle of Man governments attention to this issue comes following the highlighting of the problem (for the umpteenth time) in the UK and the decision there of an increasingly radical right wing conservative government to get tough on the issue.

Indeed months ago (long before you stumbled across your anecdotal squatter) the decision was taken in the UK to take legal action to evict persons from hospitals. It would seem that the Isle of Man government has taken its stance on the back of practices mooted in the United Kingdom.

Now I could be doing you a grave injustice here and there could well be real and pressing need to address the issue that you have highlighted. However please don’t treat the public with contempt. If this is a serious issue let us have some serious evidence to back up your claims not simply a single anecdotal example.

By the way you say in the clip that your ‘hospital squatter’ was taking up a bed with impacted people waiting for ‘emergency’ treatment. Well something is very amiss with your information and the manner in which it was delivered could be most misleading.

For example only three months ago when the Clerk of the TT raised concerns about hospital capacity Hospital officials said:

‘It appears this has been confused with there being “no beds available” in Noble’s Hospital, which is not the case.’

It certainly does not seem that your squatter example was a ‘problem’ then.

More recently during the MGP the hospital was inundated, I think one news report talked of six riders being in hospital at one stage plus many cases going through the A & E simultaneously. Perhaps this twice yearly additional strain on health provision should also be analysed to establish what routine treatments for Manx people are interrupted whilst ‘this sport’ is taking place?

As indicated the problems of persons being unable to be discharged from hospital can often have deep seated social connation’s and those factors have been exacerbated by the current government’s cuts to after care, care in the community and general home care provision.

Rather than seeking powers to ‘kick people out’ of hospital you and your COMIN colleagues should address the broader issues.

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information

Cc Allan Bell Chief Minister”

Related links:




Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


Yahoo! Groups

About Author


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Celtic League
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x