More than 2,000 consultation responses have been received in relation to one of the biggest health and social care reforms for decades, the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) were told today.
Over 800 people also attended public meetings and workshops to give their views on the future of services, as part of the formal consultation process.
As the consultation on ‘Transforming Your Care’ (TYC) ended this week, HSCB Chief Executive John Compton thanked the public for taking part and said their views were vital in shaping health and social care in Northern Ireland.
‘Transforming Your Care: Vision to Action’, a consultation document, contains proposals for major changes to the health and social care system in Northern Ireland.
The key proposals within the consultation document include; a shift from hospital to primary and community care which means people will be able to access care and treatment closer to or in their home; each hospital will work with other hospitals as part of a network; and the establishment of 17 integrated care partnerships which enable health and social care professionals and others to improve patient experience locally.
Speaking after the January public meeting of the Health and Social Care Board, John Compton said he was inspired with the public’s involvement over the past three months and paid tribute to the thousands of people who joined in on the debate.
“TYC is one of the most significant and wide-ranging health and social care reforms in decades. It is about making changes which will benefit patients, service users and carers in the short, medium and longer term. It is also about ensuring we have a safe, resilient, high quality and sustainable health and social care system for the future.
“Health and social care impacts on every single person in Northern Ireland at some point in their lives, so it was vitally important that we ensured everyone had the opportunity to have their say in this consultation process.
“Since last October, we distributed a public information leaflet to every household across Northern Ireland so that everybody was aware of the consultation and how they could get involved in the process; advertised and held 16 public meetings; and met with a wide range of key interested bodies and groups including; political representatives, staff and unions, councils, community and voluntary groups.
“During this time, we listened to the views, opinions and concerns of everyone who participated and we will take these into consideration alongside the formal responses we received.
“We have been particularly pleased with the extent to which people have engaged in the debate, there appears to be considerable agreement that change is needed if we are to have safe, high quality services in future, and the debate mostly focussed on what will be important and critical to making that change successful,” he said.
Explaining the next steps in the process Mr Compton added:
“It is quite right that for a consultation of this importance, time is taken to analyse and review all the feedback and responses received over the past 14 weeks. The Board will then draft a report to be submitted to the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Edwin Poots MLA for consideration.
“At this point no decisions have been made and the Board is firmly committed to ensuring that everyone is kept fully informed as we move forward with Transforming Your Care.”
For further information on Transforming Your Care log onto www.tycconsultation.hscni.net or follow us on Facebook.com/tycconsultation or on Twitter at: @tycconsultation.