This is a very rough and unverified transcript of the Isle of Man Government Press Conference conducted on Tuesday 12th May 2020. In particular, for any legal guidance, you should seek advice from official sources.
You should not rely heavily upon it — it is transcribed by an automated speech recognition service, and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any local Manx words (especially in Gaelic) are more likely to be inaccurate. Also, the automated speech recognition service often converts the spoken words “Isle of Man” to “Ireland” or “all of man”.
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David Ashford 0:00
Good afternoon, everyone. Apologies for the delay briefing. The Tynwald sitting went on a bit longer. Today’s briefing takes place on international nurses day. And so today our focus is all about nursing. The 12th of may 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Someone who earned her fame as a frontline nurse in the Crimean War, and is revered as the founder of modern nursing. She helped professionalise the role of nurses and set the early standards that we recognise today. She also established the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, which also still exists today. I’m delighted to welcome back our Director of nursing Cath Quilliam, who will talk about Florence Nightingale’s legacy, and its relevance today. The lady with the lamp is how generations of schoolchildren have learned about Florence Nightingale. But that, as Cathy will tell us is only part of the story. But first, the latest Staley COVID-19 statistics. The total number of tests undertaken stands at 3853. The total number of concluded tests stands at 3818. The number of out 10. Standing test results is therefore 35. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 331. That means there has been one new case since yesterday’s update, and there are now 36 active cases. The history books portrayal of Florence Nightingale moving among injured men in the field hospital got me thinking about the stereotypical images of nurses. Traditionally, we see them as devoted professionals with a great capacity to care for others, kind and patient. These qualities are important, whatever the circumstances, but it’s worth reflecting on how the public perception of nurses has changed over the course of the last few months. Battle imagery is often used in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. So nurses are frontline troops in the battle with this deadly virus in their personal protective equipment is their line of defence, their determination to defeat the enemy, their main weapon. Two of the most memorable images from the coverage of COVID-19 have been of nurses facing up to the challenge. One is a wildly widely published photograph of a nurse who just removed her visor, mask and goggles after a long shift in ICU. Her faces marked by indentations from the PPA. Her skin is hot, sore and red. Her eyes tell of the pressure of nursing seriously sick patients she has heading home, but already preparing for more for the same the next day. second image which caught my eye is a cartoon type graphic, in which the virus portrayed as a towering red sphere covered in those familiar protruding clumps is showing mouth wide open, roaring at a nurse who is commonly looking up to it taking it on. Such images will stay in people’s minds forever. That’s because without words, they tell the story of how health care workers so often taken for granted, are now recognised for taking on an extraordinary challenge.
David Ashford 3:48
The work that they are undertaking is relentless, hard going and not without risk. But most of all, these images convey the qualities of outstanding courage, perseverance, determination, and professionalism. They have increased our awareness of the expertise nurses bring to the job, the practical skills and mental strength required day in day out and how they have risen as individuals and as a profession to an unprecedented challenge. Nurses are getting on with the job and we admire respect and thank them for that. Part of getting on with the job has been dealing with change. Nurses across all spheres have been asked to adapt swiftly to a global pandemic, the like of which many never expected to say. As we’ve reorganised our health services. Many nurses have switched roles or been asked to work in different areas with new groups of patients. They have changed their working patterns, become part of new teams found new ways of doing things, and in some cases, taking on new responsibilities. In less than ideal circumstances. They have played a key role in achieving our overall goal as an island community, preventing the health service from being overwhelmed. Adapting to change will be key in the next stage. When we begin to turn back on those services, we have to stop while we dealt with COVID-19. Natural naturally, there will be a wave of demand, as appointments and treatments resumed for our patient patients. Once again, nurses will be on the front line helping to meet this demand. And once again, there will be hurdles to clear and complex issues to face. The new normal is often talked about in the context of things not returning to the way they were, once the pandemic is behind us. This is certainly true of our health services, and our nursing courts will be in the vanguard of that new era. I will now hand over to Kathy Quilliam, our Director of nursing for her thoughts and reflections on today. Over to you, Kath.
Cath Quilliam 6:29
Good evening. And thank you minister. Today is international nurses day it’s a significant event for nurses on the Isle of Man and around the world. It is held each year on the May the 12th to mark the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, and this year is special on her 200th anniversary. The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale has been the inspiration for generations of nurses over two centuries. And she remains so today. I want to dwell for a few moments on her legacy, because it has a fascinating relevance for the profession today. And we do as we deal with the Global Health Emergency commitment, compassion and care for patients were the essence of nursing when Florence tended the wounded soldiers in the Crimea in the mid 1850s. These qualities haven’t changed and are displayed daily by our nurses in the health and care system. But Florence was much more than the lady with the lump as she’s often portrayed. She was a serious academic, who used her intellect and feel a sense of justice to bring about far reaching reforms to the health system in the UK, saving countless civilian lives. In education, Florence Nightingale excelled in all subjects, but above all mathematics. Her passion was sustained statistics, and she is acknowledged as one of history’s most important statisticians. A woman imbued with humanity and a sense of duty for driven by data. She used the data she collected to find the causes of problems and to compare a campaign for the resources to solve them. Had data showed that soldiers in the Crimea were dying of preventable diseases caused by infected water supply, rather than from their battle wounds. She pulled them punches and prevent presenting her findings to politicians. A data led approach drove her ideas for social reforms and the development of modern nursing. Improved living standards, better sanitation, the restructuring of Army Medical Services and the redesign of hospital buildings are all part of Florence’s legacy. This didn’t happen by accident. It was the result of data collection and analysis. She produced graphs, curves and charts to make a case and a call for change. In the 21st century, nurses on the front line of our fight against COVID-19 are rightly praised and thanked for their dedication and compassion. But our response to the virus in areas of social distancing to testing regimes and the use of PP are driven by science and hard data. Caring impulses and clear hard data are two sides of the same coin. And they are a winning formula. On modelling of different infection spread, scenarios, reorganisation of the hospital and health and social care services, staffing, supply lines, and logistical plans are all data driven, evidence based and based on based best practice. So on international nurses day, let’s remember Florence Nightingale for her passion and her her rigorous and unsentimental approach. Let’s recognise the profound influence her this approach had, has had on health services today at approach which is serving us well. Indeed in this current challenge. Like Florence Nightingale, our nurses are highly skilled, multifaceted professionals. And the first global year of the nurse or midwife, was designated by World Health Organisation to recognise that its aim was to celebrate the advancement of the professions and to reflect on the skills commitment, and clinical care nurses bring to positively impact on the citizens around the world. It was hoped that you would raise the profile of Nursing and Midwifery, increasing levels of interdependence in many spheres of nursing and highlight the diversity of the roles, especially to young people considering future career options. This we hope would encourage recruitment and retention across all areas of Nursing and Midwifery.
Cath Quilliam 11:17
nurses and midwives make up the largest number of health and social care workers. It was to be their year in the spotlight, a chance to showcase talents and expertise and a morale boost. We have done all this and more. Not in the way we intended, of course, a calendar of events carefully put together by a group of dedicated nurses and midwives who believe passionately in the cause, as have all been abandoned. Our plans do include conferences, workshops, school and college visits, a family fun day, a TT themed competition and award ceremony and a nurse’s lamplight war. Most but not all of these have been postponed. Some we have, we can still have that and still happen later in the year. But we do not look back. There could be no great sense of disappointment among nurses and midwives. We are focused in our role responding to the current coronavirus pandemic, which is likely to be the greatest challenge of most nurses careers. It’s an experience we are learning from now, and will draw on for many years to come. There are positives and we should recognise them was more than the tragic loss of life from COVID-19. A huge, unexpected and frightening challenge arose and we stepped up to meet it. Obstacles have been overcome with determination and focus. We have discovered discovered deep reserves of patience, courage, resourcefulness and team working which we will not let go. We have learned to work in different ways to meet pressing needs. The adaptability and flexibility of colleagues has been simply outstanding. Finding out we can do things we never thought possible is an affirming lesson in life, and is one of the clearest wins in a period which threatened to bring overwhelming loss. The restrictions have challenged us all at home and work but there is a lasting satisfaction in getting on with the job and weathering the storm. That challenge makes us stronger. As individuals as a profession and as a community. The experience has sometimes been draining, but it has also been uplifting. There have been moments of anguish, stress, frustration, but also feelings of relief, accomplishment and even joy. A clapping for healthcare workers and key workers by the public on Thursday evening is a welcome act of recognition, if feels personal to many of us, makes us proud of each other and perhaps more than anything else binds us together with an invisible glue. cohesion across the professions was a key aim of our special year and is the this is one of our many achievements. But while taking heart from clapping, nurses and midwives don’t want to be seen either as angels or heroes. They are professionals doing the job they trained to be, albeit in unprecedented circumstances, at pace and under pressure. Some have made great sacrifices, living in hospital accommodation away from their families to protect loved ones and their patients. The desire to help our fellow human beings to make a real difference to other people is what attracted us to the profession. While such motivations can fluctuate over time, this desire to help others has been brought back into sharp focus. Our roles and the incalculable value of our health service are crystal clear tool, we will continue doing whatever is required to beat the virus, and help keep our community safe. Because that is what we do. I am grateful for the opportunity to thank and salute all nurses and midwives across the spectrum of the professions. We may not have celebrated as planned. But we have paused to reflect on our roles and our contribution to meeting the global health emergency. We have showcased what we do is unique and in unique and unforgettable circumstances. It is turning out to be a year none of us will ever forget. Thank you.
David Ashford 16:10
Thank you very much. And of course, as you’ve rightly reminded us, not only is it international nurses day to day, but it’s also the year of the nurse and midwife this year. And I don’t think at the start of this year, any of us could have possibly imagined the stresses, strains and sacrifices that those in the nursing profession would have had to make this year. As you mentioned, you know, they’ve got families as well, that they have that they will be about themselves, as well as their jobs. So I just want to echo everything you’ve said, and say an absolutely massive thank you to all of our staff across health and social care, whatever their role may be, but in particular, the nurses who really are our frontline, both defence and offensive against this virus, thank you so much for everything that you were doing. And we’ll continue to do. We’ll turn now to questions from the media. And first off, I have Sam from Arlington newspapers.
Sam Turton 17:08
And even given Mr. I wonder if we could start with bears was talked about nurse just as the health community starts to reopen again, in terms of lack of surgeon as well as how, how things can be integrated to move away from what is the current settle into that in terms of releasing nurses and doctors into other roles within the healthcare system. Again,
David Ashford 17:33
I’ll bring Catherine for anything she might want to say in a minute. But basically being Frank, it’s going to be a balancing act. We’ve got to bring services online steadily. I think as I’ve mentioned before, we can’t go from having a service shot to suddenly having that service fully operational, again, the staff that we’ve been using in the fight against COVID-19 have the same staff, we need to run those services. So it is about getting a balance. And I know I always sound probably far too cautious many people that’s one of the reasons I am because we’ve got to start transferring staff across. But it’s got to be done in a safe and managed way. Because both patient safety and the well being of the staff themselves is absolutely essential in doing that. But I’ll bring Catherine in case there’s anything she would like to add.
Cath Quilliam 18:20
Thank you, Minister. Yes, just want to echo what you’ve said. It is absolutely really important to begin to get our services back online. And we are planning that our management team are talking about that three times a week, we’re mapping out our plans. But we will always have those competing priorities because COVID has got to become part of business as usual. But yes, the message from me is that it is really important that we do begin to get services back online for those patients who require that care.
David Ashford 18:58
And I thought I think the other thing I’d add as well, Sam, just before we move to your second question is of course with health and social care services don’t operate in isolation, either. Many of the services we’ve turned off are also dependent on all the services. So as we bring those services back in, we’ve got to not just think about that particular service, but any other of the wider services that service relies on to ensure that the impact there is manageable as well. And your second question some
Sam Turton 19:25
years this afternoon, the chief minister was asked about abbotswood. And he referred to an independent party investigated, but then he referred to investigations as opposed to a single one will department be taking its own investigations and to the events that abbotswood and how much that will be possible to be made public in the long term.
David Ashford 19:44
There is an independent investigation under the registration inspections act. I’ll clarify why the chief minister referred to investigations in a moment, and that is where an independent party has been appointed to conduct that investigation because obviously dhsc has now had involvement in the home. So myself as Minister in the senior leadership group thought it was only right that we allow an independent party to conduct that which is allowed under the Act, and has been through the Attorney General’s chambers for oversight. The reason the chief minister referred to investigations is obviously the safeguarding issues involved as well. And safeguard we have a separate safeguarding board on the Isle of Man. And they will obviously be investigations from the safeguarding side as well. So that’s why the chief ministry for two investigations rather than investigation, because of the way it’s split across the different bodies, in terms of public Sorry, I nearly forgot about that. In relation to organised investigations. My understanding is they generally are made public. So personally, I would expect the end report to be made public as much as it possibly can be, but I would expect it to be a public report. Next up, I have Tim from Manx radio.
Tim Glover 20:58
festival. Good evening, Minister, I just still on abbotswood. I know, seven patients are transferred out today. And there’s more to come tomorrow. And I know it’s down to the least. But we’ve had a few of the families of people still later on today, one described as mum being as scared stiff this morning about being moved out. And another describing it disgraceful to treat people in their older years this way, I am happy with this situation. As it is it’s the best you can offer.
David Ashford 21:31
Tim, I’m far from happy with the situation. I think, as I stated yesterday, the ideal solution would have been to keep the residents precisely where they were. But we were on a table, as I mentioned yesterday, to agree a lease with the building with the owners. We can’t operate out of a building without a valid lease in place and agreement over certain works that needed to take place as well, which also had not come to a satisfactory conclusion. So we had to make the choice that in terms of our duty of care to those residents, they needed to be moved, the absolute ideal solution would have been to leave them where they are, it is deeply unsettling. You know, abbotswood is those residents home, and many will have been there for quite a long time. So it will be upsetting or unsettling for them to move. And in an ideal situation, we wouldn’t have had to. But we got to the point where the department believes that in order to actually comply with our duty of care to them. That was the solution that we have to go down.
Tim Glover 22:33
And we’ve seen today, the past couple of days new cases in Wu Han 100 new cases in South Korea in a nightclub area, Germany in cases of nearly tripled today. So we know the dangers of easing the lockdown. But we’re in a unique situation in some ways with relatively low numbers. And I’m interested in the comment that we’ve got to live with it. But is it possible that we could try now a policy of eradicating COVID-19 on the island? Or is that just impossible, I’m thinking that that would then lead to the economy being revived. And obviously, that helps the NHS survive to
David Ashford 23:11
even being blunt eradication would be a dream. But unfortunately, it is a dream. This is a virus and until we’ve got a vaccine against eradication, really To be frank is off the table, the only way you would even possibly be able to consider eradicate on the island is if you locked everyone up for 21 days to make absolutely sure not only if they got over the incubation period, but over the virus itself. And you shut the borders completely. So nobody came in all out of the islands, that would be the only way you would ever guarantee a complete eradication. So nothing in nothing out. And that’s complete and also lockdown with nobody moving for 21 days. That’s not practical. You know, with a virus there is going to be low levels of it in one way or another. And you’ve mentioned there about what they’ve seen in Germany, what they’ve seen and saw in blue hand slightly, although that’s a bit low and South Korea. This is why I do always sound like a broken record, it’s very easy to slip into complacency mode. It’s very easy to see us as bumbling along the bottom of that graph that keeps being shown of getting one case here one case there. But I have to emphasise again, the reason we’re in that position is because of the actions and the steps that have been taken. It’s not luck, it’s not chance. That is what has allowed us to be in this situation. So what we need to do is ensure that anything we do, we introduce changes gradually. we pause we reflect we looked at the impact of those changes, and then we move forward to the next step. And I know that’s frustrating, and some people feel we’re not moving fast enough. But it is the only way we can ensure that we don’t end up in the situation of a second wave. term I
Tim Glover 24:58
can date chapeau to all Nurses as well on this day,
David Ashford 25:02
most definitely. And next I’ve got Robert three FM.
Rob Pritchard 25:08
Good evening minister. My both my questions are four categories.
David Ashford 25:12
And certainly care first first one Rob for Cath,
Rob Pritchard 25:16
I guess, first off, once again, from all of us at three FM a massive thank you to yourself and all our other nurses for the extraordinary work that they’re doing at this time. And first off, as the minister has said, this is a relentless situation, I can only imagine how physically and mentally exhausting it must be for all nursing staff at this time. And I think this has come up in the past. But now that we’re however many weeks into it, what sorts of physical and mental supports available for nurses if they need it, if they feel sometimes that they could be feeling the strain of just just sheer amount of work they have to go for?
Cath Quilliam 25:52
Yes, we’ve done a number of things, obviously before are an occupational health department but we’ve got a health and well being service, which we’ve relaunched. We’ve, we’re advertising that I’ve introduced to make new matron posts, that was at the end of March. And the matrons are doing a lot of work on a daily basis, literally going around the hospital in particular, speaking to nurses, making sure that they’re, you know, getting refreshments and food. We’ve also made sure that they’ve got rest and comfort rooms in each area. And so all sorts of different things. But we’re very well aware that, you know, the welfare of our staff is paramount. We’ve also just, initially, we did put an embargo on all annual leave. But we’ve actually, just last week said people can begin to take some manual leave if they want to take some rest. So yeah, it’s one of our priorities. Absolutely.
Rob Pritchard 26:52
Thank you very much. My second question you mentioned when you spoke before a little bit about education, given the amount of unique and unprecedented circumstances that nurses are facing with the likes of redeployments and different procedures, how do you think this will affect the way nurses are trained on island in the future?
Cath Quilliam 27:11
Well, as you know, we’ve all Well, we’ve had a nurse training for a long time, I’ve actually got the students back into their placements because we did suspend student nurse training for about six weeks. I think, Mom, maybe it was a bit less than that. But we have started them back into student as training on the first map that was really important for planning long term. I have to say, we’ve got excellent education facilities on the island. And what this has shown us is that some of our practitioners are absolutely excellent teachers in their specialist area, and we do need to harness that going forward. So I do think it’s going to make educational stuff much easier.
Rob Pritchard 27:55
Thank you very much.
David Ashford 27:56
Excellent. Um, next up, I’ve got Simon Arthur business 365 magazine.
Good evening, Minister. If I could put my first question to you, please. Dealing with the crisis full on has certainly been difficult and is one thing, but unravelling from it is going to be another this is going to be obviously a very difficult time for government, as it’s proving already in the UK. Are you confident that you can keep the public onside throughout this process?
David Ashford 28:29
I think we can. I mean, there is obviously frustrations out there. But I think what’s important is communication, just as we’re doing now, with these press conferences, these press conferences, as far as I’m aware of pretty new innovation for the Isle of Man each day, for us to be going out with the innovator with with the message, it’s really innovative for us. And I think it’s important and an opportunity for you guys in the media as well, to question directly the minister such as myself on what the latest thinking is and where we are going. And having that ability to challenge because we are in exceptional times, it is going to be difficult to unravel. I think I stated this podium last week, that actually shutting things down is easy, reopening things is where the hard part comes in, and doing it in a managed way. So we don’t end up with a spike in cases. So yeah, I think it is going to be exceptionally difficult. But the key you want you’re not going to please everyone I should say Simon, every decision government makes is going to upset someone somewhere. But what’s important is communicating why that decision has been made so people can understand the direction of travel. And of course, we’ve got the stay safe medium term strategy that we recently released, which is a good read for anyone who wants to see the direction of travel going forward.
Okay, thank you. And secondly, again returning to abbotswood What is the future for it as a nursing home? Is there a possibility sometime in the future it could have its licence renewed and be back on stream Is this the end of the road? Really?
David Ashford 30:02
So I can’t speculate on that Simon. There’s investigations ongoing, and we will have to see what comes out of those investigations. Okay, thank you very much. Okay. Next up, I’ve got Paul from Mt. tv. Good afternoon. Good evening, I should say, Paul.
Paul Moulton 30:20
Good evening to see you obviously a very busy day there and tumbled. This morning I was down at Abbotsford watching the first patients residents as they’d like to be called being moved. And I was struck by the dedication the staff who were generally moved to tears, I think some cases, as they saw, what they saw was all their friends being taken away, and they felt really, you know, down on the whole thing. And you sort of chastise me yesterday saying you wouldn’t be doing things in the media, you want to make sure they knew themselves on to their relatives before anybody else. So it’s interesting. I’ve got a letter, an official letter here, which says, and I’ll quote, we learned about the Department of Health and Social Security’s decision to move our residents out of abbotswood. Our press release on Saturday afternoon, neither we nor our staff were given advance notice of this decision. Your comments, please.
David Ashford 31:08
And I assume that is from the owners of abbotswood, then the way it is, and the way Yes, is portrayed as in relation to that all I can say at this stage is that there have been constant conference calls between the department of health and social care, and also the legal representatives of abbotswood, that communication has been continuous and ongoing. And that’s the only comment I can make this point.
Paul Moulton 31:31
Sorry. So you’re not confirming or denying what I
David Ashford 31:33
there is an innovative, there’s independent investigations going on, Paul, I’ve got to be very careful what I actually say. While we’ve got investigations running with the home, what I can confirm is there has been continuous communication between DHS and the legal representatives of Abbott’s Woods over the various measures that have been taken.
Paul Moulton 31:53
Because at the end, the left, they say they’ve lodged an appeal to the suspension of the registration and will be challenging the de hscs actions.
David Ashford 32:00
So what you’re going to know which is which is perfectly they’re perfectly entitled to do that provision is there in the legislation that if a licence is suspended people quite rightly can challenge that suspension. And they are perfectly entitled legally to do so. Thank you. Okay, so then next up, I’ve got Josh from ITV.
Unknown Speaker 32:23
Thank you, Minister. Following on with abbotswood. Can you just go into a bit more detail into why the department couldn’t agree on the lease that was put before you
David Ashford 32:32
know, I can’t, all I can actually say in relation to that is we were offered a short term and a longer term lease, the terms of which were not value for money for the taxpayer, and just could not be accepted on the basis of the terms offered.
Unknown Speaker 32:48
Unknown Speaker 32:50
in regards to the investigation, is there any kind of timeline any idea of an end date on that, at all,
David Ashford 32:57
investigations have only just been started what is important with any of these processes is not rushing to an end date, but ensuring it is done meticulously and in line with the legislation and that is exactly what will be actual will be happening. We’ve appointed an independent party from the RBI side of us and the safeguarding investigations to be done as well, which is why the chief minister referred to investigations they will be completed, where in due course, once it’s been conducted correctly, it’s more important to have the investigations done properly and fairly than it is to rush to an arbitrary timeline.
Unknown Speaker 33:33
Okay, thank you.
David Ashford 33:35
Okay, and then last up, I’ve got Chris k for managing. You’ve waited very patiently for
Chris K 33:41
everything minister. It was in the news recently that certain PPA bought by the UK Government for NHS staff had failed safety tests. Could you confirm if and how protective equipment purchased by the Manx government is tested to make sure it’s 100% safe?
David Ashford 33:57
Well, we undertake the same testing as the UK does. Most of the testing is referred to normally as fit testing. I’ll let calf come in if she wants to add to that in a moment. I as far as I’m aware, but I’ll wait for calf to correct me if I’m wrong. All the PPA that we’ve been ordered is up to grade we did have about a month ago, I think a stock of masks that weren’t actually up to grade. But we were able to use them for all the purposes because they failed the Fit Test. But we’re we certainly are not in the position of the UK around PPA. As I think I’ve explained to this podium before, we have been sourcing from all over the world in order of our preparations. We have ample supplies of what we require. But I’ll bring Catherine
Cath Quilliam 34:42
Yes, we have a team that are monitoring rppa ordering rpp checking it when we get it and we’re using. We use a range of companies to test out masks gowns that we’ve had biases that we’ve had. Because clearly, the safety of our staff is the most important thing to us. So we have used a range of companies to test various items to make sure that they comply.
Chris K 35:13
Thank you. And sticking with you, Kathy, if I may, it feels to many as if we are beginning to get back to normality, obviously only very gradually at the moment, and we still have a long way to go. But it does appear the virus is somewhat under control here. How well equipped are we? were we to face a second wave of COVID-19? Here? And will we be advising the government in any way to ensure that we are best prepared?
Cath Quilliam 35:37
Yes, and there is always that chance, if we as the public, if our community don’t comply with what the government have already asked, then we are at risk as other countries have having that second way. What we will do is, we will monitor that in terms of the number of cases and of course, we will be advising minister, Chief Minister of what we need to do in terms of securing, again, going back into, you know, some type of further lockdown. But we are prepared health services. But of course, there is a threshold at which we, you know, we cannot go above. And that’s why over the next few months, we’re constantly going to be dealing with competing priorities.
David Ashford 36:28
And it goes back to what I said before, Chris, about a balancing act, that as we turn on all the services, not only have we got to make sure that those services are able to operate, but also that it doesn’t damage any COVID-19 response that we still need to keep in place. Our biggest danger at the moment is complacency. I would say that is one of our biggest enemies. And it’s important we don’t get complacent. I’ll take a couple of extra questions. I want Tim Firstly, and then Paul, and then Rob.
Tim Glover 36:57
Thank you, Minister, you say communication is key. But what’s happening in Tim world at the moment because some members are furious. They see a lack of opportunity to scrutinise the Council of Ministers at the moment. And we’ve had miscommunications about the promenade scheme, senior raceday move and matches and changes announced that this briefing rather than in Tim world, what’s the point of Tim Ward at the moment?
David Ashford 37:25
Well, actually, Tim, if you if you look at it, the issue that’s there’s been if anything is the fact how things are fast moving. And the Chief Minister and the Treasury minister have both already covered off about the bank holiday I met I spoke about it last Friday. In relation to that we have to get it onto the Tim world order paper ready for the June setting. But unfortunately, we have sorry for the May setting, because the bank holiday is before the next regular setting a Tim Ward, unfortunately, we haven’t agreed the date by that. But the key thing is in a pandemic, unfortunately, the ordinary processes don’t work, because things are moving fast. So for instance, if you look at regulations, the regulations are done under the emergency Powers Act. And that’s not something new, where you can just pause that. And the regulations then get a good period of scrutiny before they come before 10 board, because the act me says states that the regulations have to be laid before assembled within seven days or they lapse. So it does mean that the scrutiny period has been reduced. And one of the things I would like to pay it to put on record is actually the hard work and dedication of my timbul colleagues who have been doing things where they would have a good period of scrutiny in a lot shorter period of time. So there has been engagement with timbral members over a lot of things. There’s timbul presentations and briefings which would be referred to when people have spoken. I myself and the chief executive of the department. Katherine, we do a weekly update briefing on a Thursday to timbul members. So that is conversations. That is discussions. And I know the feedback. I’ve heard his members find those briefings exceptionally helpful. I’ll bring you back in Tim fee. Your questions were on you anyway.
Unknown Speaker 39:02
Tim Glover 39:03
know that the state of emergency runs out I think on Friday the 15th of May. What’s the situation there? Are we going to continue with it? Or will let may lapse on the powers I know can still apply for another six months.
David Ashford 39:20
And well, first of all the powers can apply for another six months. If timberwood proves them to continue. I need to be very clear on that. It’s not a case of they just automatically continue under the Act. If they’re not actually confirmed by Tim will they fall away? Personally, obviously a couple of days to go Yep, I would expect the state of emergency will need to remain in place for at least one more period while we get everything ready, because the other thing about preparation is we’ve got to prepare for what comes after the state of emergency. So potato particularly as you say which regulations remain in place, which regulations fall away. What that impact is it’s not a quick job. Under someone knows something I don’t I would expect that we may have to do at least one more period. onto the emergency. Okay, cool next. Oh, it’s
Paul Moulton 40:10
been left to me because I was waiting for somebody else to ask. Can you tell us more about this new case? Please, if it’s a nursing home related or is it in,
David Ashford 40:18
you know, elsewhere? But I don’t I don’t have the full details of that particular case with me today at the moment. But the one thing I can say is it’s not nursing home related. It is a community case. Okay. And Rob,
Rob Pritchard 40:32
you have just just one quick question regarding the PPA. And we’re looking at the possibility of course, nothing is confirmed yet we could see shops and non essential retail coming back from next week, depending on the climate. And then after that some businesses may be allowed to start returning with regards to the BP stocks if these businesses require them for whatever reason, how well can our stocks cope with being our supply them and our medical staff?
David Ashford 41:00
Well, the first thing I need to say well, because we won’t be supplying them, their private businesses, it’ll be for them to source their PPA, if that’s what they require to keep their stuff safe to operate. They will not be dhsc. I want to squash that straight away. While we may assist dentists if they come back online, as we’ve mentioned, at cost, we are not going to be doing that for the whole economy. It is just not practical for us to do so. wants to add anything on to that.
Cath Quilliam 41:29
And no minister, I think you’ve answered the question.
David Ashford 41:33
Okay, well, thank you very much to our media partners as always, and particular thanks for them waiting around so long for me to finish in Tim Walton Getty Florence Nightingale was a prolific writer of papers and studies, and also very good to quote from so although scientifically driven, she saw nursing as an art and she said, and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard to preparation as any painters or sculptors work that I think captures what nursing today requires careful study, technical skill, meticulous attention to detail, devoted practice, consideration for others, and an absolute dedication to the job. Thank you to all of our nursing colleagues in the islands. I hope you have enjoyed reflecting on your profession, and continue to feel supported by the Manx public, Happy International nurses day. And also of course happy year of the nurse as well. Now on to today’s shoutouts. Firstly, tunda Italia lindum a manager in acute mental health has been nominated by her team. She has worked with relentless positivity since the pandemic began, and has been ensuring people who are mentally ill continue to receive the best care. Alongside this she is also caring for the welfare of staff and boosting morale. Her fairness, integrity and enthusiasm has been remarkable. So thank you, Tanya, for all that you’ve been doing, and everything that you continue to do. Secondly, the residents of fireman’s Park castle town, they held a V de social distancing street party and have raised 300 pounds for the Isle of Man NHS. So thank you to all the residents. Finally, I’ve also been asked by several people to give a shout out to the patient transfer and our Ambulance Service teams that have been doing all that they can, at these difficult times. Several people have been in touch with me to praise the work they have been undertaking to facilitate people still being transferred across for treatment and ensuring that they get back safely as well. So thank you very much to the teams in patient transfer, and our Ambulance Service who continue to look after our travelling patients. So that’s it for today. But in closing, again, Happy International nurses day, and remember, stay at home where you can and stay safe. Thank you very much.