What Liam Donaldson said last year

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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 currently 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 were made in ‘The Right Time, the Right Place,’ Sir Liam Donaldson’s report which examined the governance arrangements for ensuring the quality of health and social care provision in Northern Ireland.

The report made 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.

Sir Liam wrote: “The way in which central bodies seek to achieve compliance with their policies and make broader improvement changes is based on a very traditional and quite bureaucratic management model.”

He said this had strengths in enabling the central bodies demonstrate accountability but it can also “greatly disempower those at the local level.”