Consultation Date Extended

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has extended the period of consultation on the criteria for reconfiguring health and social care services by a further two weeks at the request of the public.

Speaking about the decision the Minister said: “I have been very pleased with the public response to the consultation to date. The public meetings have been well attended and in some cases additional meetings had to be planned to meet public demand.

“The views of the public are vital in bringing forward change and I want to ensure that as many as possible get the opportunity to put their views forward. The meetings provide a real opportunity for the public to engage directly with senior professional medical, nursing and policy staff from the Department of Health. These criteria will be instrumental in shaping change across HSC and it is critical we get it right.

“I would like to assure the public that full consideration will be given to the views expressed as part of this process in determining the way forward.”

1. The remaining meetings in January 2017 are being held at:
North Down & Ards, Somme Centre, 19 January 2017, 7pm – 9 pm
Newry, Canal Court Hotel, 30 January 2017, 7pm – 9 pm

2. The criteria set out in the consultation document are:

There is evidence that the outcomes for patients using these services are below acceptable levels either in the services as a whole or in particular hospitals, or where there are safety concerns
There is a clear clinical pathway for the patient population. Co-created with patient groups
The service cannot meet professional standards or minimum volumes of activity needed to maintain expertise
The permanent workforce required to safely and sustainably deliver the service is not available/cannot be recruited or retained, or can only be secured with high levels of expensive agency/locum staff
The training of Junior Doctors cannot be provided to acceptable levels
There is an effective alternative ‘out of hospital’ care model or an alternative ‘shared care’ delivery model
The delivery of the service is costing significantly more than that of peers or of alternative ‘out of hospital’ alternatives due to a combination of the above factors

3. The consultation document and a response questionnaire are available online.

4. The public consultation closes Friday 03 February 2017

Consultation Name: Consultation on Criteria for Reconfiguring Health and Social Care Services. Responses should be sent to:


Written: Reconfiguration Criteria Consultation
Department of Health
Room C3.6
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast, BT4 3SQ

Tel: (028) 905 20020
Fax: (028) 905 22335

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