“A Healthier Future”
The regional strategy for health and wellbeing, A Healthier Future (PDF 673KB), was published for consultation in December 2004. The strategy was developed in consultation with many groups and individuals representing health and social services staff, service users and other key stakeholders.
The strategy is a vision for health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland over the next twenty years and it is intended to give the direction of travel for health and social services.
The strategy places a strong emphasis on:
- promoting public health;
- engagement with people and communities to improve health and wellbeing;
- the development of responsive and integrated services which will aim to treat people in communities rather than in hospital;
- new, more effective and efficient ways of working through multi-disciplinary teams;
- measures to improve the quality of services; and
- flexible plans, appropriate organisational structures and effective, efficent processes to support implementation of the strategy.
A Healthier Future also included proposals for a ban on smoking in public places. Over 70,000 people responded to these proposals with the majority being in favour of a ban on smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces. On 17 October 2005, the Health Minister announced his intention to introduce comprehensive controls on smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces in Northern Ireland, including pubs and bars.
The Department has considered each of the consultation responses in detail and has produced a summary (PDF 221KB) of the key issues raised and the Department’s responses to these. (The responses on smoking do not form a part of this summary of consultation responses.)
The outcome of the consultation on A Healthier Future will inform the Department’s work in taking forward the strategy. Following the Review of Public Administration, decisions about the organisational framework for the delivery of health and social services will clearly influence how the regional strategy is delivered. The HPSS restructuring is an opportunity to create a system for health and social care services and health promotion that can deliver more effectively on the vision, strategic themes and policy directions set out in A Healthier Future. In tandem with the work of creating the new structures and the new dynamics, the Department is considering how to get the best value from the very considerable amount of work that has gone into A Healthier Future, by a wide range of stakeholders.