In commenting on the Health Ministers announcement on the proposals for the future of the Health and Personal Social Services, Alliance Party Spokesperson on Health and Social Services Issues, Councillor Betty Campbell welcomes some elements of the proposals but voices concerned at the size of the proposed Belfast Teaching Hospital Trust.
Cllr Campbell said:
“Alliance has called for the abolition of the four Boards for a long time. This proposal and the reduction in the number of trusts is welcomed and will reduce bureaucracy but it must not be merely a cost cutting exercise. Any savings achieved must be channeled into front line services and it must be clearly demonstrated that this has happened. It is inevitable there will be job loses if these proposals are implemented.”
“Experienced staff are necessary to provide continuity. Any staff who wish to remain in the service following restructuring should be given the opportunity to train and prepare for a new role.”
“Given the concentration and diversity of regional specialties in the large hospitals, combining all the Belfast hospitals in one Trust presents a major challenge and will require very careful planning and consultation.”
“The strengthening of integration of Health and Social Services in the remaining Trust would allow the potential of Northern Irelands integrated Health and Social Service to be exploited to the full and would be a major contribution to the delivery of a seamless service between hospital and community.”
“Groups of GP’s, social workers and community nurses are best placed to assess and identify the needs of local populations and the proposed primary care partnerships would allow the planning and commissioning of services to take place close to the users of those services.”