Executive must be formed with all-party commitment to health transformation, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has said the effective loss of £102 million of savings in the health sector is a further demonstration an Executive should be formed with all-party backing for carrying out health and social care transformation.

South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw was responding to an NI Audit Office report on Transforming Your Care, which stated by March 2016 programme had only realised £28 million of the £130 million savings anticipated in the original business case.

“That is money which should be dedicated to bringing down waiting lists. The Audit Office confirms that only £28 million has in fact been saved,” she said.

“It is clear workers in the health service fully understand the need to transform. However, the process has not been carried out as quickly as it should, partly because the budget to transform has not been allocated sufficiently in advance. This raises the question of whether the political will really exists to deliver on what is a highly complex but also highly necessary series of reforms.

“It is unacceptable we remain without a Northern Ireland Executive producing a Northern Ireland Budget for a Northern Ireland health and social care service. The penalty for failure will be the development of a two-tier system, as people with means choose to go private – such an outcome would be a million miles from the universal system envisaged when the NHS was established and to which all parties are supposedly committed.

“We need an Executive established immediately and a cross-party commitment to deliver on the reforms proposed by Compton and Bengoa on behalf of everyone. There is no more time or money to waste.”

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