While facing a barrage of criticism from local health campaigners and South Down politicians over austerity cuts to the number of beds at the Downe Hospital and other services, Health Minister Jim Wells, South Down MLA, has underlined his personal commitment to achieving transformation in health and social care services at the Policy Forum NI’s ‘Transforming Your Care’ seminar.[caption id="attachment_52192" align="alignleft" width="280"] New Health Minister Jim Wells MLA.[/caption]
Addressing delegates at the event, the Minister said: “I am keen to emphasise my personal commitment to Transforming Your Care and the overall HSC transformation programme. I believe that it is essential to ensure that we are able to continue to offer high quality, sustainable and safe services into the future.”
Minister Wells acknowledged the hard work of staff across the HSC and their dedication to maintaining services and delivering good outcomes for service users. He particularly highlighted the opportunities which staff have taken to develop new ways of working to support joined up care delivery.
Reflecting on the development of Integrated Care Partnerships across Northern Ireland as part of the implementation of Transforming Your Care, the Minister said: “The work undertaken by integrated care partnerships will help to improve the patient journey, support the management of long term conditions and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.”
The Minister also emphasised that, despite the significant challenges facing health and social care, that there are also opportunities to adopt new approaches which support enhanced patient care.
Drawing on the example of regional Tele-care services, he continued saying: “This supports independence of citizens in their own home. We will be looking to expand our e-health provision further by enhancing the provision of better on-line information, giving patients access to records, on-line appointment booking and remote care.”
The Minister concluded his address to delegates by emphasising the opportunity to renew our commitment to delivering transformation. He said: “What can I do today’ to make transformation a reality in my organisation, for my staff, and most crucially of all, for the service users and patients for whom this system is created, managed, financed and sustained.”]]>