A photograph shared on Twitter of the Manx Care Executive Team holding its first full meeting has been met with anger by some residents.
The photograph, tweeted then deleted by Manx Care Chief Executive Teresa Cope, shows at least eight people in a boardroom, despite the gov’s request for people to work from home where possible.
The photograph was shared on Twitter by, amongst others, Michael Josem who said: ‘After widespread criticism on Twitter in the Isle of Man, and thousands of people seeing various versions of the photo, it appears that there has been a ham-fisted attempt to delete the image and offending tweet. Unlike letters sent to the Minister for Health and Social Care, however, it is difficult to destroy all electronic copies of a document which has been published and distributed across the world.’
In response to Mr Josem’s tweet, residents said the picture showed the executive team were ‘sticking two fingers up at small businesses across the island who can’t go in to work’ and that they are ‘out of touch with the public they’re paid to serve’.
The picture was also criticised for what some said was the ‘hypocrisy’ of the Manx Care team meeting when Chief Minister Howard Quayle had criticised private businesses and their employees for not working from home and during one Covid briefing threatened to create new laws under the Covid regulations requiring them to do so.
In a statement Manx Care CEO Mrs Cope said: ‘During both Covid-19 outbreaks this year, myself and other senior health and social care leaders have made a conscious and unanimous decision to attend work in person. It is important that we are both visible and available to support our colleagues working on the frontline in our Island’s fight against this virus. On a daily basis we have been providing much-needed support to our frontline teams who have faced an unprecedented level of demand and are working in both clinically difficult and extreme circumstances.
‘Manx Care’s Executive Leadership Team met yesterday (6 April) in the large and well ventilated boardroom at Noble’s Hospital. Everyone present wore medical grade PPE throughout the meeting and maintained a safe distance at all times. As essential workers in a health and social care setting, the meeting complied with the island’s Covid-19 regulations. However, I am sorry if this causes any concern but can assure people that all appropriate measures were taken, the large majority of meetings are held virtually and we will continue to do so until Covid restrictions are lifted.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our dedicated health and social care colleagues who have been working incredibly hard to maintain essential services for Manx residents and deliver an exceptional response at this time.’