Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill working towards Living Wage

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has reiterated her support for the HSC workforce and for the implementation of a living wage.
The Minister said: “I am aware of, and sympathetic towards, the Trade Union campaign for a living wage for all health and social care staff , which is based on the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage.
"I have said before and I want to reiterate that our staff are the biggest asset that we have, and that is why I implemented the NHS Pay Review Body recommendation of a 1% consolidated pay uplift for 2016/17.

“Whilst the Executive's public sector pay policy does not mandate the application of a living wage, it is important we work towards the application of such for HSC staff in the context of developing an affordable package of pay reform."

Notes to the Editor

  1. Media queries to DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0579, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 23974383 and your call will be returned.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Ó Muilleoir to meet with political parties ahead of RHI Inquiry Statement

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir will meet with political parties tomorrow to discuss the Public Inquiry into the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme.

The Minister said: “This Inquiry will be impartial and objective and it will be tasked with getting to the truth of this scandal. These meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss the terms of reference and hear the views of other parties. My objective remains to deliver a no-hiding-place Inquiry that serves the public interest.”

It is the Minister’s intention to make a statement to the Assembly on the RHI Inquiry on Tuesday. 

Notes to editors:

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3. For media enquires please contact the DoF Press Office on 028 9081 6724 or email dof.pressoffice@finance-ni.gov.uk. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Health Minister responds to GP-led care working group report

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has today responded to the GP–Led Care Working Group report.

Michelle O’Neill said: “I have considered the report and recommendations of the working group set up to review GP-led care services here.  The report is clear - we need to take action now to address the challenges facing the service and I am pleased to accept its recommendations as signalling the direction of travel needed to ensure that everyone here continues to have access to high quality, sustainable GP-led services. 

“In ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together’, I was clear that primary care is the bedrock of our health and social care (HSC) system.  As such, it must be central to the approach to reforming that system.  The recommendations made by the working group require action by my Department, the HSC, GPs and other health professionals and I will continue to work with all parties to make the working group’s recommendations a reality.”

The Minister said considerable progress has already been made against a number of the working group’s recommendations.   She said: “The working group recommended increasing the number of GP training places to 111 by 2019/20. I recently announced that we will reach that goal by 2018/19, a year ahead of the working group’s recommendation.

“I have also committed to increasing the amount of time undergraduate medical students spend in general practice, to encourage more young doctors to consider it as a career.  I have set out my plans to develop multidisciplinary teams working alongside GPs in primary care to help keep people well and out of hospital. 

“Investment in the Practice Based Pharmacist scheme is continuing, with over 50 pharmacists now employed by GP practices and a further 50 taking up post early next year.  By March next year, every GP practice will have a named district nurse, health visitor and social worker to contact regarding their patients." 

Concluding, the Minister said: “I also want to explore in more detail the way in which we provide GP services in the future and, as a first step, I plan to consult on the role of GP Federations in the New Year.”

Notes to editors:

1. In October 2015, the GP-led Care Working Group was established to consider how to address the pressures facing GP-led primary care services to ensure that they are able to meet the challenge of rising demand now and into the future. Its report was published on 23 March 2016.

2. The working group included representation from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), Royal College of General Practitioners, the Northern Ireland GPC, the Royal College of Nursing and Health and Social Care Trusts.

3. The key issues the group focused on were building a stable GP workforce, GP training, the structures and teams to support GPs, developing a sustainable out of hours service, innovation, infrastructure improvement, quality and integration of services, population health and wellbeing and improving patient experience.

4. The Minister’s 10 year vision statement Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together was published 25 October 2016.

5. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 028 9052 0074, or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

Monday, 19 December 2016

Further document laid in Assembly Library

Earlier today (19 Dec) the Minister laid the attached document in the NI Assembly Library.

Notes to editors: 
  1. The document is available at http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/raise/deposited-papers/2016/dp1596.pdf
  2. The officials named in this press release and in the associated documentation are not available for comment.
  3. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 2397 4383 and your call will be returned.