NI Health & Social Service Trusts Undergo Restructuring

The Minister for Health has welcomed the move from the eighteen existing Health and Social Services Trusts to five integrated Trusts. The five new Trusts will become fully operational on 1 April 2007. The Ambulance Service Trust remains unchanged.

Paul Goggins was speaking as final preparations for the handover to the new Trusts were being made. He said: “This signifies a new era for the health and social care sector. We now have a unique opportunity to work closely together under the new arrangements to provide coherent, consistent and the best quality health and social care services available.

“Services will be more patient centred and of the highest quality, no matter where in Northern Ireland you live.”

The Minister wished the Chief Executives, the Chairpersons and the Senior Management Teams of the new Trusts well in their endeavours to change the shape of health and social care service delivery. He said:

“A more streamlined and focused system will mean greater efficiency and significant savings which will be reinvested back into front line patient treatments and drugs.

“The new bigger Trusts will promote stronger links between hospitals and community based services. The new Trusts will develop integration within and across health and social care boundaries and across professional groupings and geographical areas.”

Paul Goggins also revealed a new logo for Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. It will be used by the new Trusts initially and introduced in a phased way over the next twelve months to the other health and social care delivery organisations. It has been developed at minimal cost by staff working within the Health and Social Care sector.

The Minister said: “This new logo represents a modern and forward thinking Health and Social Care sector. It will establish easy public recognition of all aspects of the new structures and will contribute to the development of public confidence in the service.

“I want to thank Alan Martin from the Health Promotion Agency, who created the new logo and the design team based at South and East Belfast Trust, who have been working hard to ensure it is developed for use across the system.”