“business as usual..”

In July the Northern Ireland Health minister, Michael McGimpsey, quietly told health service staff that he was reviewing the Review of Public Adminstration proposals to create a single Health Authority in place of the existing 4 Health Boards – legislation had been pencilled in for November this year. Today he’s announced that

On considering proposed RPA structures, the Minister has confirmed that:-

The current trust structures of five Health and Social Care Trusts and the Ambulance Service will remain largely as they are and

It is now unlikely that there will be any further changes to structures before April 2009, due to the requirements of the legislative timetable and the practical considerations around restructuring.

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  • Dexter

    What a joke! Five health boards for 1.7 million people. At the same time, the Executive as a whole is clearly tight for cash. Here is yet another example of our local politicians inability or unwillingness to tackle quango-ism. This is taxpayers money being blatantly and unecessarily wasted. Add to the general wastage the (wasted) cost of this particular area of the RPA….

  • Ahem

    F—–g H–l, as the Victorians might have typed it. How I wish we could surcharge political incompetents like McGimpsey for the cost to *us* of their *cowardice*.

  • Turgon

    This is a major failure by McGimpsey. I must admit it was pretty obvious that it would happen.

    There were too many trusts and too many health authorities in the past.

    The problem is that there is no real benefit to patients in having multiple health authorities, it creates duplication of effort, raises the possibility of some form of post code lottery and causes logistical problems for hospitals as staff sometime work across health authorities and patients may be treated in multiple different health authorities. The case for economies of scale, efficiency and uniformity is pretty overwhelming.

    On the issue of number of trusts (which McGimpsey has not changed) there were too many, now there are too few.

    The Belfast trust has essentially been a take over of the Mater and Belfast City by the Royal, pratically all the major appiontment have gone to Royal staff and the frictions between especially the Royal and City are well known. In each of the other cases the largest hospital has taken over the smaller hospitals and community care organisations. This raises the grave danger of the big hospital being favoured whilst the smaller hospitals are downgraded and the community care organisations languish.

    Whilst some rationalisation was always needed this is too far in terms of number of trusts and not at all in terms of Health Boards. It is exactly the wrong way round. It is of course McGimpsey not changing a change already made and avoiding a change that is about to be made, i.e. he is doing nothing which is a major mistake. Not that I expected much better of him.

  • fair_deal

    Very poor decision.

  • Sick

    Typical unionist cowardice [play the ball – edited moderator]

  • joeCanuck

    Decision to readvertise.
    Decision to do nothing.
    Being of a mind to take a bad decision.
    I know they’re on a learning curve, but when are they going to do something. The only one to show any courage is Ms.Ritchie and her so-called colleagues have all been struck dumb or else are too busy trying to sabotage her.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “I know they’re on a learning curve, but when are they going to do something. The only one to show any courage is Ms.Ritchie and her so-called colleagues have all been struck dumb or else are too busy trying to sabotage her. ”

    Ah, but learning, as a rule, comes from mistakes… and, since they’re doing nothing, there will be no mistakes to learn from…

    And courage out of a politician is the exception, not the rule. Ms. Richie is to be applauded, even his her efforts prove quixotic.

  • Hogan from County Tyrone

    Seems like McGimpsey’s been well and truly pussy-whipped by the civil servants.

    That decision was a ‘no-brainer’ and the UUP have indeed gone and proved they have no brains (or balls?)

  • Frank Sinistra

    Hardly a surprise. There couldn’t have been much potential saving after the five Trusts had already been set up and the structures of the Health Authority including Chief Executive designate had been put in place.

    I hear Sissling has demand a 25% reduction in management costs as an outcome of the restructure and as long as it’s reinvested in the frontline messing with this already advanced and costly process could have ended up wiping out any potential savings.

    The big failing I see was the missed opportunity of matching up the ELB and Trust areas. IMO the RPA should have linked Councils, Health Trusts and ELBs.

  • Nevin

    Is Minister Foster ‘minded’ to tell us the number of local councils she favours?

    Will we go from Pick and Mix 26 to Lucky 7 or Doctor’s Orders 9 or Legs Eleven 11?