Developing Better Services

The Model For Future Health Care Services

Under DBS we are working to develop a model of health care which will provide high quality, safe services which are accessible for all and provided by well trained, motivated staff in modern settings.
Over the next twenty years two distinct forces will define the shape of our health services, namely:
  • Greater provision of generalist services within communities or on a day-patient or out-patient basis than is the case at present. These will include primary care services, chronic disease management, social services maintaining and enhancing independence, and much of the surgery currently provided on an inpatient basis.
  • Greater specialisation particularly within acute hospital services. This will promote the quality of services by ensuring that professionals deal with a ‘critical mass’ of similar cases to achieve sufficient expertise. New specialised medical technologies and techniques will keep more people alive who would otherwise die through illness or trauma.

Health Care Access Pyramid

The role of hospitals is to support community-based care services in promoting health and wellbeing. An effective hospital system will always be required but in an integrated system the most expensive component – hospital services – must be used as efficiently as possible. It is of primary importance that we adopt a whole systems approach to ensure that we get the right balance of investment in services both in the acute sector and in the primary and community sectors. It is also important that we work together across the HPSS, through innovative ways of working such as Managed Clinical Networks (PDF 71KB), which will share good practice and share resources to the benefit of the patient. Overall, we will implement the integrated programme of investment and reconfiguration set out in Developing Better Services.
Within each Board area, the Area Programme Board has responsibility for taking forward the developments under Developing Better Services. Further details of each Area Programme Board’s plans for the future configuration of services are available at:
The overarching model for future health care services has been set out in Regional Strategy “A Healthier Future: A Twenty Year vision for Health and Wellbeing in Northern Ireland 2005-2025”.
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