The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a statement on staff expenses following the publication of summary figures in answer to a Tynwald question asked by Onchan MHK Julie Edge. The answer had explained that DHSC staff claimed a total of £3,955,893.73 between 2012 and 2017.
During this five-year period, 63% (£2,486,529) of the total was accounted for by mileage allowances paid at standard government rates when members of staff travel in their own vehicles to carry out their work. The DHSC employs more than 2,500 people, many of whom are required to visit people in their own homes to provide care and to attend locations around the Island as part of their jobs. Some examples of these frontline staff groups are:
• social workers;
• home care workers;
• the dementia care team;
• the supported living team;
• the supported housing team;
• safeguarding staff;
• community mental health workers;
• district and school nurses and health visitors; and,
The mileage allowance figures, by year, were:
• 2012/13, £492,020;
• 2013/14, £472,575;
• 2014/15, £466,402;
• 2015/16, £520,333; and,
• 2016/17, £535,198.
Expenses relating to the training and continuous professional development of DHSC professionals were the next biggest contributor to the five-year total, amounting to 28% (£1,110,817). Professionals such as hospital consultants have allowances for study leave in their contracts (as happens in the UK) so that they can maintain up to date skills and knowledge and undertake continuous professional development, as required by the General Medical Council. Virtually all of this training, because of its specialist nature, happens outside the Isle of Man.
Training related expenses, by year, were:
• 2012/13, £248,237;
• 2013/14, £211,814;
• 2014/15, £212,796;
• 2015/16, £254,537; and,
• 2016/17, £183,433.
Other staff-related expenses during the five-year period were 9% of the total (£354,548).
While the numbers involved may seem high to some people, these aspects of the DHSC’s costs are a vital part of the services which we provide. The Programme for Government is committed to helping people to stay well in their own homes and communities, avoiding hospital and residential care wherever possible; and to ensuring that everyone receives good value health and social care services.