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Minister Poots relaxes special measures arrangements for Belfast HSC Trust

Health Minister, Edwin Poots, today announced he was relaxing the special measures arrangements introduced in April to improve the performance of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Minister said: “The vast majority of services provided by the Trust are of high quality, and indeed this was the case when special measures arrangements were introduced in April. There were however a number of issues at the time with which I had serious concerns about. Improvements were necessary in order to help restore confidence.

“Over the past months the Belfast Trust has made progress in addressing the specific areas of concern and that is why I am confirming today that the arrangements can be relaxed.”

The arrangements were put in place because of a number of issues which had arisen in the quality of services provided by the Trust. The measures included enhanced oversight arrangements by the Department to focus on areas of concerns and improve governance, accountability and performance at the Trust.

The Minister went on to say: “The relaxation of special measures does not of course mean that the Trust should reduce its focus on improving its quality of services. It is essential that it continues to do so. My Department and the Health and Social Care Board will therefore continue to monitor the Trust’s performance closely.

“The Department has been developing enhanced accountability processes for arms length bodies and I am requiring from the Belfast Trust and other organisations comprehensive escalation plans that can be employed during periods of increased unscheduled activity. I will be receiving reports on any significant deterioration’s in performance and will consider whether additional action may be necessary.

“I hope that the special measures arrangements have highlighted to the Trust the importance of meeting the standards of care that the public needs and expects, and that the Trust will continue to give this priority.”

Notes to editors:

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