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Department ‘undermining confidence in health consultations’ - Sinn Féin

7 June, 2019 - by Pat Sheehan

The Department of Health is undermining public confidence by running flawed consultation processes on the future of stroke and breast assessment services, Sinn Féin has said. 

The party’s Health spokespersons Pat Sheehan and Colm Gildernew made the claim after challenging departmental officials on the issue at a cross-party briefing yesterday.

Pat Sheehan said: "Everyone agrees that transformation of health and social care is needed if we are to achieve better health outcomes for the public.

"But this can only be achieved by involving service users and staff from the very beginning of the process and providing them, and the broader public, with the full evidence base.

"To date the department has not been sufficiently transparent as to how certain proposals and positions were arrived at and that is eroding public confidence.

"We challenged officials on a number of issues including how the scoring matrix developed by the Project Board for Breast Assessment Services scored a four site model highest but was not included as an option in the consultation.

"Going into the public consultation events next week the department needs to provide the public with the relevant information in terms of its processes and the evidence base for its proposals.

"More importantly they need to listen.

"I would encourage all those interested in stroke services and breast assessment services to attend the public consultation events.”

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