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Poots updates Health Committee on Transforming Your Care

DHSSPS Minister Edwin Poots today briefed the Health Committee on ‘Transforming Your Care’, a Review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.
Wednesday, 1 February 2012

‘Transforming Your Care’ outlines proposals on how improvements can be made to health and social care services so that they are structured around the needs of patients, with a greater emphasis on delivery in the primary and community care settings. Since the publication of the Review, the Department of Health has been assessing the proposals and how they should be taken forward.

Speaking at the Committee Mr Poots said: “What is being presented through the Review’s proposals is a major change to our health and social care services, but change which is long overdue. Designing and delivering a new model for health and social care services, one that is built around patient needs, will require engagement with patients and front line service providers. It is crucial we get it right.

“The last thing I, or any of us want is to destabilise the service in implementing change. The Review Team also recognise this and I support their proposed timeline of five years to implement the changes.”

The Minister said that while some proposals could take longer to develop, others could be advanced sooner. He outlined plans to set up a Strategic Programme Board as soon as possible to oversee progress of work and ensure engagement across the health sector and with the public. The Board will be chaired by Dr Andrew McCormick, as Permanent Secretary of the DHSSPS.

Mr Poots said: “This is my first priority as it will be important going forward to have strong governance and oversight arrangements in place.”

He continued: “In the medium term, we can make progress on areas of work which have already started and have been endorsed by the Review as supporting the future model. I would like to see the establishment of the Integrated Care Partnerships get underway, building on the benefits of the Primary Care Partnerships. The ICPs will have an important role in supporting the delivery of a number of the Review’s proposals.

“Steps can also be taken to maximise opportunities brought about from telehealth, following the recent roll out of the ground-breaking hi-tech Telemonitoring scheme, which enables patients with long term conditions to monitor their health in their own homes”.

The Minister concluded: “I have been encouraged by the broad support given to the Review Report on the floor of the House and from across the sector and I am committed to ensuring an open and transparent process as we move forward.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Minister’s statement to the Committee can be found online.

2. 'Transforming Your Care’ was published on 13 December 2011. For further information visit the DHSSPS website.

3. Health Minister Edwin Poots launched Telemonitoring NI on 12 December. For further information visit the NI Executive website.

4. Media enquiries about this press release to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0074, or out of office hours contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.