Rural Voices Matter Report Published
05 July 2011
Health Minister Edwin Poots confirmed his commitment to ensuring that those living in rural areas have access to high quality health and social care services.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the Patient and Client Council’s (P&CC) report
Rural Voices Matter
Welcoming the P&CC Report, Minister Poots said: “I am committed to ensuring equitable access to health and social care services for all the people of Northern Ireland regardless of where they live. “My underlying priority as Minister will be to drive up the quality of services and outcomes for patients and to ensure that service users are at the heart of everything we do.
“We will have to look at different options for the delivery of care. This will include the optimum networks and practices for treating stroke and cardiac emergencies to deliver the best possible outcomes.”
The Minister acknowledged the central role played by primary and community care within rural communities and the positive response within the Report to these key services.
He said: “We have been working hard to improve both levels of access and quality of care within the primary and community sectors and I want to see that continue so that more care provision is shifted from the hospital sector into the community.
“The message I have been getting is that people want to remain in their own homes, and to be cared for within their own communities. I recognise that domiciliary care workers play a vital role in facilitating this to happen and that some significant progress has been made here.
“I also want to consider our health and care infrastructure to ensure it meets our changing demographics. One of the most effective ways is through multi-disciplinary teams, where possible located in the same place.”
Stressing that the importance of health and social care being informed by local voices he continued: “As patients’ expectations rise, I believe we have to be responsive to the world we live in. I want to look at how we can make our health and social care services more responsive to the everyday lives of our patients.
1. The Patient and Client Council’s 'Rural Voices Matter' report presents the views of rural dwellers across Northern Ireland on health and social care services. Its purpose is to help ensure that the process of setting future policy and commissioning for health and social care is influenced by the opinions of people who live in rural communities.
2. Media enquiries to the DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0579. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number on 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.