Board welcomes steady progress on Transforming Your Care reforms
The Health and Social Care Board has said that steady progress is being made on the major health and social care reforms set out in Transforming Your Care.
Speaking at the Health and Social Care Board’s monthly public meeting (Thursday 14th August), Emma Holden, Assistant Director of Transforming Your Care with the Board highlighted some of the recent developments which are taking place across the region in transforming health and social care services.
“Momentum continues to build and work is progressing at a steady pace in many areas as we implement Transforming Your Care. Some of these changes taking place now are expanding services which already existed in some areas and have been aligned with Transforming Your Care; others have been started this year. All are making real changes which benefit patients, service users and carers. These changes, which have been widely endorsed, are absolutely essential to help improve access to safe and high quality care now and into the future,” she said.
Progress is being made on a wide range of projects including:
- Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) – The ICPs are making significant progress which see doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, social workers and the voluntary and community sector working together to keep people well and make sure they get the care they need, when they need it.
Projects and action plans are currently being implemented to help improve the patient journey, helping manage chronic illness and in preventing unnecessary hospital admissions, especially for our frail elderly and those with long term conditions. Local discussions are going on at the moment between the Integrated Care Partnerships and Local Commissioning Groups about our investment this year in further service improvement.
- Self-Directed Support: This support increases the choice, flexibility and control that services users have over their social care budget and the services they receive. Progress has been made with positive engagement from all Trusts, and implementation plans and communications about further rollout of this important initiative are underway.
- Reablement: This service is for people who have suffered from a health or social care crisis, who are recovering from an illness or injury and have become frail as a result. Reablement helps people regain their independence and continue to live in their own homes. This new service is already operational across most of Northern Ireland and having a positive impact. A regional review of Reablement Services across the region has just been completed to help us expand and improve Reablement further over the coming months.
- Health and Care Centres: Construction is on-going on the development of three new centres in Banbridge, Ballymena and Omagh. A further two approved for Newry and Lisburn are currently in the procurement process.
- Statutory Residential Care Homes: In the context of local needs assessments regarding older people’s services being led by the Health and Social Care Board and Local Commissioning Groups (Committees of the Board), the Health and Social Care Trusts are currently considering the future use of Statutory Residential Care Homes by applying the agreed criteria following the recent public consultation.
The Board has also recommended that Trusts review their individual positions regarding permanent admissions. Trusts are expected to submit their proposals back to the Board early Autumn 2014.
Mrs Holden added: “At the heart of all these changes is to make people’s lives healthier and easier. We are on a reform journey which doesn’t happen overnight. This scale of change takes time to get it right, and what we are hearing very strongly from everyone we speak to is the need to continue with that change, especially in the light of the very real financial and demographic challenges facing us.”
“It is really important that we implement changes in a measured and thoughtful way in conjunction with our patients, clients, service users, carers, and staff, as well as the wider public sector, professional and clinical bodies, the voluntary and community sector and a wide range of other stakeholders. This will be essential for ensuring that any changes are sustainable and can make a difference for everyone.”