Bradshaw says Health Minister move a power grab

Alliance Councillor Paula Bradshaw has said the Health Minister’s move to abolish the Health and Social Care Board is a “power grab” that will not address problems affecting the health service.

South Belfast Councillor Ms Bradshaw was speaking after Simon Hamilton said powers would be transferred to the Department of Health, while another group will be established to hold the five health trusts to account.

Councillor Bradshaw added the Minister acted in a crass manner by announcing the move when and how he did.

“While streamlining of structures can help make the health service more efficient, there is nothing radical about merely shifting nameplates. Wider interventions are needed in order to tackle the causes of continuous problems affecting the system. There are root and branch problems that this move will not address.

“Demand on the service and spending pressures keep rising, while fundamental problems such as the balance of spending being wrong will remain after this problem. The truth is, we have seen nothing new or innovative from the Minister, but rather a power grab in the dying days of his ministry.

“It is also extremely disappointing the Minister decided it was appropriate to make this announcement in public without first providing staff with important information such as what will happen to their roles or whether there is any ability to transfer, particularly as they are about to head off on Easter holidays.”

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