Some local hospitals don’t provide the standards of care required to meet patients’ needs on a 24/7 basis and insisting on local provision trades a “degree of geographical inconvenience against life and death.”
The demands on hospital services in Northern ireland are currenlty excessive and - like everywhere else in the United Kingdom - not sustainable.
A new costed, timetable implementation plan for the controversial ‘Transforming Your Care’ report should be produced immediately.
People with chronic illnesses should be trained how to treat themselves and manage their own illnesses.
There should be a greater role for local pharmacists.
And a small ‘Technology Hub’ should be established to identify the best technological innovations enhancing the quality and safety of care around the world and make proposals for their adoption here.
All of these are recommendations that have been made in ‘The Right Time, the Right Place,’ Sir Liam Donaldson’s report which examines the governance arrangements for ensuring the quality of health and social care provision in Northern Ireland.
Speaking in the Assembly on Tuesday (January 27) the Health Minister Jim Wells said: “This report states that our health system ‘is likely to be no more or less safe than any other part of the United Kingdom, or indeed any comparable country globally.’
“Although Sir Liam also acknowledges that we can do better, that statement should be of some comfort and reassurance to those in our community who rely on our health service.”
The report makes ten recommendations, some focusing on specialist areas of quality and safety improvement, such as maximising learning from incident reporting, while other recommendations are broader and focus on our health system.
The Minister said: “Both I and my predecessor have highlighted issues in relation to commissioning and this is reflected in Sir Liam’s report. My officials have been asked to undertake a review of the existing commissioning arrangements to ensure they are effective.”