Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Tuesday, 3 July 2012 12:31 UK

'Transforming Your Care' update

The health minister announced the publication of draft plans in preparation for the reform of health and social care services contained within the Transforming Your Care (TYC) report, on 3 July 2012.

Edwin Poots was updating the assembly on the progress of TYC.

The plans released by the minister were five Population Plans and an "over-arching" Strategic Implementation Plan.

Mr Poots said he was aware of "the concerns that many people have about the re-configuration of hospital services".

He reminded members that the Health and Social Care review team had concluded that Northern Ireland would only be able to support five to seven major acute hospitals.

"The Strategic Implementation Plan highlights the need to guarantee the future sustainability of our hospitals by ensuring all acute services adhere to best practice in terms of quality outcomes, infrastructure and staffing," Mr Poots said.

The chairwoman of the assembly health committee, Sue Ramsey of Sinn Fein, said the view in the community was that not many people knew the details of TYC.

She asked about the future of community pharmacy, which she said had a central role to play.

Mr Poots said he regretted that there had been uncertainty in the community pharmacy sector.

Conall McDevitt was concerned about the "accidental privatisation" of the health service, calling for legislation to prevent this.

The minister was dismissive of the idea as it would be contrary to the concept of "value for money".

He said that perhaps Mr McDevitt would prefer to see elderly people in hospital wards.

"I much prefer the nursing home model myself," Mr Poots concluded.

The minister told John Dallat of the SDLP there was "no intention of closing" the accident and emergency department at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

He said a patient who had suffered a heart attack would not be taken to the Causeway but to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, which had the appropriate facilities.

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