January 2017 meetings on the consultation on criteria for reconfiguring HSC Services

Date published: 23 December 2016

A further date has been added to the series of public meetings on the proposed criteria to be used to reconfigure, change and improve our health service.


On 11 November 2016, the Minister launched a consultation on the criteria which will run until Friday 20 January 2017. 

Four meetings have already taken place with a further eleven scheduled for January in Cookstown, Lisburn, north Belfast, central Belfast, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Newry, Enniskillen, Ballymena and North Down & Ards. Following a very successful engagement in Ballycastle another meeting is planned there in January due to public demand.

Speaking about the events, Minister O’Neill said: “I am delighted with the public response to the consultation meetings to date. They allow the public to engage face to face with senior professional medical, nursing and policy staff from my Department and the views expressed will be reported back to me. This is an important aspect of co-designing transformation with those who use and deliver health and social care services, which I am committed to. I can assure everyone concerned that these views will be given my full consideration in reaching a decision on what criteria to adopt, which will inform the future of our health and social care system.”

The Minister continued: “We need to get the criteria right at the start of the process, if we are to have a clear and understandable framework for assessing how services are configured in the future.”

“As I have said before, we want to ensure that patients receive the best care available, the first time every time, even if that means travelling further for better treatment with better health outcomes for the patient, with quicker recovery times and less need for follow up care.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The public meetings in January 2017 are being held at:

  • Cookstown, Glenavon Hotel 04 January 2017, 7.pm – 9pm
  • Lisburn, Trinity Community 05 January 2017, 7pm – 9pm
  • North Belfast, Duncairn Centre 09 January 2017, 7pm – 9pm
  • Central Belfast, Belfast Central Mission 10 January 2017, 7pm – 9pm
  • Ballycastle, Sheskburn Recreation Centre, 11 January, 3pm-5pm
  • Coleraine, The Sandel Centre 11 January 2017, 7pm – 9pm
  • Downpatrick, The Cricket Club 12 January 2017, 7pm – 9pm
  • Newry, Newry Conferencing & Banquet Centre 16 January 2017, 7pm - 9pm
  • Enniskillen, Killyhevlin Hotel 17 January 2017, 7pm – 9pm
  • Ballymena, Adair Arms 18 January 2017, 7pm – 9pm
  • North Down & Ards, Somme Centre, 19 January 2017, 7pm – 9 pm

2. The criteria set out in the consultation document are:

  • There is evidence that the outcomes for patients using these services are below acceptable levels either in the services as a whole or in particular hospitals, or where there are safety concerns
  • There is a clear clinical pathway for the patient population. Co-created with patient groups
  • The service cannot meet professional standards or minimum volumes of activity needed to maintain expertise
  • The permanent workforce required to safely and sustainably deliver the service is not available/cannot be recruited or retained, or can only be secured with high levels of expensive agency/locum staff
  • The training of Junior Doctors cannot be provided to acceptable levels
  • There is an effective alternative ‘out of hospital’ care model or an alternative ‘shared care’ delivery model
  • The delivery of the service is costing significantly more than that of peers or of alternative ‘out of hospital’ alternatives due to a combination of the above factors

3. The consultation document and a response questionnaire are available online.

4. The public consultation closes Friday 20 January 2017.

Consultation Name: Consultation on Criteria for Reconfiguring Health and Social Care Services. Responses should be sent to:

Email: Reconfig.criteria@health-ni.gov.uk

Written: Reconfiguration Criteria Consultation
Department of Health
Room C3.6
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast, BT4 3SQ

Tel:   (028) 905 20020
Fax:  (028) 905 22335

5. For media enquiries about this press release, please contact the DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0575 or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk. For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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