Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has warned that the Bengoa health reforms face the same fate of the ultimately unsuccessful Transforming Your Care policy.
The East Antrim MLA was commenting after the Northern Ireland Audit Office published a report which cited the failure to establish a precise action plan, setting out clear measurable aims and objectives together with an appropriate set of performance indicators for assessing its performance, as a major flaw.
Roy Beggs said:
“No one will be shocked that TYC has not worked out as originally envisaged. My Party warned at the time that without a viable funding plan, and without a set of measurable targets, TYC was unlikely to deliver even a fraction of the commitments it was making.
“The central objective of Transforming Your Care was to shift patient care from hospitals and into the community, the so-called ‘shift lift’ policy. The reality is the opposite has happened since 2011 with Health Trusts repeatedly slashing the very community services that were supposed to be expanded. For instance – following the decision of a number of local Health Trusts to limit domiciliary care places, some older people are having to spend more time in hospital than they medically require.
“The failure of repeated Health Minister’s to recognise the gravity of the current situation, and bring forward the necessary reforms, has compounded the current situation.
“In fact, the scale of the crisis in our local health service is totally unprecedented, with more people waiting than at any other time in the NHS’s history. The tragic reality is people are being forced to wait for so long that some are inevitably coming to harm. Lessons must be learned from the failings of TYC so that the same mistakes are not repeated during the upcoming Bengoa reforms.”