~ Wednesday, 13 June 2012
That was the message from the Health Minister Edwin Poots as he addressed the Northern Ireland Patient Safety Conference today in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast.
Speaking to national and regional experts in patient safety, the Minister said: “I have made clear from my first day as Minister that the underlying objective for the entire health system is to protect and improve the quality of services we deliver. The health service must be safe, effective and totally focussed on the patient. They are at the heart of everything we do.
“We must be realistic. While the majority of patients experience care that is safe and of a very high quality, there are occasions, in such highly complex and stressful environments, things will go wrong for many different reasons. The onus is on everyone in the health service to learn from these incidents and minimise, if not completely eradicate the risk of reoccurrence.
“It is for that reason that I launched my Department’s quality strategy – Quality 2020. This provides a framework and plan of action to protect and improve quality in health and social care over the next 10 years and beyond.
“Of course, there will be challenges ahead, particularly around the financial constraints we face, but there are many opportunities to improve what we do and make the health service more effective. We must never be complacent, we must always strive for better and continue to question what we do.”
Notes to editors: 1. The Department of Health's Quality 2020 strategy, can be found online