19/05/2003

Hospital modernisation needs further development

Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Des Browne has today called on the Chairmen of the four Health and Social Services Boards to develop their local plans for the modernisation of hospital services following his announcement on ‘Developing Better Services’ in February.

The Minister said it was becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the local, smaller hospitals and if the initiative was not seized then changes would more than likely be forced upon services.

Mr Browne added: “I am aware that following the announcement of my decisions on Developing Better Services on 24 February, a number of concerns remain about the level and type of hospital services that will be provided, particularly in rural communities.

"We need to press ahead with the hospital modernisation programme. That programme is about putting people first and the only way this can reasonably be done is to talk to those who would be most affected by changes to hospital services in their area.

“I have therefore asked the Chairmen of the four Health and Social Services Boards to prepare local plans for developing hospital services in their area and to report on progress by the end of August.

“I want this to be an inclusive process where Boards will engage with the community, local elected representatives and professional staff to develop together a profile of future hospital services that everyone can understand and be reasonably assured will be delivered.”

Mr Browne announced his decision on the future of hospital services in Northern Ireland February, following consultation and a range of proposals contained in the Developing Better Services document.

In it he announced a network of ten acute hospitals supporting six local hospitals, delivering a range of local services.

A £500 million capital development programme was also announced to underpin the proposals.

The Minister has asked the four Boards to submit progress reports to the Department by 31 August 2003.

(MB)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 June 2019
Two Sudden Deaths Investigated By Police
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden deaths of two people in west Belfast. The two bodies, understood to be a man and woman, were discovered at a house in Woodside Drive in Poleglass on Thursday 20 June. Police and forensic investigators attended the scene and post-mortem examinations are expected to be carried out.
25 March 2005
Woman plucked from sea off County Down coast
A woman was rescued from the Irish Sea off the County Down coast by the Newcastle lifeboat on Thursday evening. It is understood that the woman, who was treated in the Downe Hospital following her rescue, had fallen into the sea from the promenade in Newcastle.
03 July 2019
Other News In Brief
Dog Owners Warned Not To Leave Dogs In Cars Dog owners in Northern Ireland are being urged not to leave dogs in hot cars. Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council issued an appeal to residents to avoid the situation, even in cases of a short period of time.
26 June 2019
Bombardier Offloads Jet Programme To Mitsubishi
Aerospace company Bombardier has announced plans to sell its regional jet programme to Mitsubishi, prompting calls for clarity over the future of local jobs in the industry. The $550 million transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2020.
25 June 2019
Other News In Brief
Main NI Route Diverted After Multi Vehicle Crash Diversions have been put in place this afternoon after a serious road traffic collision on the A6 near Toome in County Antrim. The multi vehicle crash happened on the Moneynick Road at around 12.40pm, with closures put in place at the end of the M2.