A further date has been added to the series of public meetings on the proposed criteria to be used to reconfigure, change and improve our health service.
On 11 November 2016, the Minister launched a consultation on the criteria which will run until Friday 20 January 2017.
Four meetings have already taken place with a further eleven scheduled for January in Cookstown, Lisburn, north Belfast, central Belfast, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Newry, Enniskillen, Ballymena and North Down & Ards. Following a very successful engagement in Ballycastle another meeting is planned there in January due to public demand.
Speaking about the events, Minister O’Neill said: “I am delighted with the public response to the consultation meetings to date. They allow the public to engage face to face with senior professional medical, nursing and policy staff from my Department and the views expressed will be reported back to me. This is an important aspect of co-designing transformation with those who use and deliver health and social care services, which I am committed to. I can assure everyone concerned that these views will be given my full consideration in reaching a decision on what criteria to adopt, which will inform the future of our health and social care system.”
The Minister continued: “We need to get the criteria right at the start of the process, if we are to have a clear and understandable framework for assessing how services are configured in the future.”
“As I have said before, we want to ensure that patients receive the best care available, the first time every time, even if that means travelling further for better treatment with better health outcomes for the patient, with quicker recovery times and less need for follow up care.”