Save The Mid attended 4 of the public meetings surrounding Transforming Your Care (TYC), Dungannon, Antrim, Coleraine & Magherafelt, in all 4 meetings there was an interactive poll.
It was clear in each of the meetings when asked in the interactive poll that the vast majority of the public were unaware of what Transforming Your Care proposed. The public were then subjected to an hour talk by a member of the TYC panel, which did not state what changes would take place in their local area, also the population plans that were developed by each health trust at the request of the Health Minister that did contain proposals were not available to the public in any of these meetings.
How can the public endorse what they do not know. The public I would submit agree that change is required, but had they known what actual changes were in store would they agree as the Minister has stated. The interactive poll in these public meetings was so vague that its results can be manipulated for any outcome and now the good will of the public is being used against them.
In each meeting the questions submitted were screened and very selectively answered, Save The Mid chairman, Hugh McCloy had to result to asking a question on twitter during a meeting as he was not allowed to question the panel orally while he sat in front of the panel in Antrim. Public questions were not fully answered leaving the general public who were not knowledgeable of TYC unable to make informed responses to the review.
The Transforming Your Care review was well planned to hoodwink the public, the public like Save the Mid agree to the principle of change, but will never endorse the slashing of services that have been announced by the Health Minister.
The Minister, Edwin Poots, must take on board that the public were not made aware of what actual service changes would take place and he must act in the public interest or Save The Mid will launch a Judaical Review into these actions if the assembly fail to hold him to account.
In the Health Ministers address to the assembly he stated Mid Ulster residents will now have to travel to Belfast, we were promised when they shut the Mid Ulster of services we will have a range of services at Mid Ulster and the remainder provided at Antrim or Craigavon. For all serious treatments for the past 50 years have we been travelling to Belfast, pushing less acute services to Belfast will only impact upon those most vulnerable in this area.
Transforming Your Care has focused on removing services for the most vulnerable in society, those who cannot fight back unless someone fights backs for them. Residential Care, long stay mental health care, long term stay for children, these are the people who will be broadly affected, and while they have no voice of their own, the organisations that propose to fight for them will receive generous funding to keep quite.
Life saving services will be further restricted, the capacity of acute hospitality will be placed under sever pressures, the already under pressure ambulance service will be expected to cover huge areas, maternity services will become fewer as acute services are removed from Causeway, Lagan Valley, Downe and more.
This is a flawed consultation that misled the public with the aim of shutting services in their local communities, will the assembly back this flawed consultation or the people who they are elected to represent.
The full response can be seen below.
~ Tuesday, 19 March 2013
The Minister was speaking as he briefed MLAs on the publication of the Vision to Action Post Consultation Report and the progress of Transforming Your Care (TYC).
Mr Poots said: “Healthcare is universal, it is one of the very few things which touch the lives of just about everyone in our population. The TYC proposals represent a landmark change in the delivery of that care.
“Therefore, in order to drive change, we needed to listen - to patients and carers, to doctors and nurses, to staff and managers, indeed to everyone who felt they had something to say on the future delivery of health care. And that is exactly what we’ve done.
“In October, I launched Transforming Your Care: Vision to Action. I asked people to seize the opportunity to make their voice heard as part of the consultation. After 14 weeks of engagement where every household in Northern Ireland was offered the chance to take part and where thousands participated through public meetings and through social media, the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) has captured, analysed and summarised the public response in the post consultation report which is published today.
“I have been heartened by the reaction and by the public endorsement of the transformation proposals.”
Mr Poots told MLAs that the post-consultation document, which is now available on the HSCB website, analysed and summarised the responses in 12 different areas, including population health and wellbeing, older people, ICPs and acute hospital care. And he updated members on the progress being made in key areas of transformation.
The Minister highlighted the introduction of Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) as a key element of the TYC proposals and told MLAs: “ICPs will enable local health and social care professionals and the voluntary and community sector organisations to work more closely together on a collaborative basis to improve efficient and effective service delivery. These multi-sector collaborative networks will include statutory, independent and voluntary and community practitioners and organisations in their membership and will come together to respond innovatively to the assessed care needs of local communities, provide support for service users closer to home; and avoid unnecessary visits to hospital.
“I expect the HSCB to establish the first nine ICPs over the next few months and for all 17 ICPs to be in place by this time next year, providing full regional coverage.”
The Minister also signalled that measures have been introduced to establish alternative models of care for older people and increasing personal choice.
“Our focus is on delivering better, targeted care for older people closer to home, which will enable them to stay at home and remain independent where possible. This will provide better services that people want and will reduce demand for residential care. I propose to reduce the number of statutory residential homes by around 50% over the next three to five years. As it stands today, some of our existing homes are no longer able to provide a sustainable service while others struggle to meet modern standards expected throughout the sector and require expensive capital work that would be better spent on models which offer a choice to older people."
“The planned reduction in the number of residential homes does signal our commitment to thinking outside of an institution led approach to health and social care provision, and to considering new opportunities for ensuring that care provision is service user led and committed to supporting our citizens to be able to stay at home where possible.
“The majority of respondents told us that our older people prefer to be closer to home and we have set about making this possible. We will invest £3.2million in social care reform including re-ablement over the next three years; we will provide an additional 479 supported living places over the same period; and we will invest £1million to train staff in nursing homes to support people at the end of their life,” he said.
The Minister will continue to regularly update MLAs on the progress of Transforming Your Care.