Health Minister Edwin Poots has published a report summarising the findings of the recent consultation on ‘Who Cares? The Future of Adult Care and Support in Northern Ireland’.
This was the first stage of a three stage process to reform adult care and support.
Mr Poots said: “The consultation was an important first step in the process to reform adult care and support. A large number of people in Northern Ireland responded to the consultation, and their views will be the key in considering how best we move forward to the next stage of reform – developing proposals for change.
“The consultation report illustrates strong support for my Department’s vision for the future of care and support. But it also shows that many people find the current arrangements for paying for long term care unfair, particularly the fact that people sometimes have to sell their family homes. It is certainly something that we need to look at very closely as we move into stage 2.”
The consultation on Who Cares?, which ran from September 2012 to March 2013, was designed to raise awareness of how challenges such as an ageing population, increasing expectations of users and a difficult financial climate will impact on the care and support system, and make the case that change was needed.
Some of the issues raised by respondents included the need to focus more on preventative services, the need to promote independence, as well as concerns over the current arrangements for paying for residential and nursing home care.
The DHSSPS will now commence work on the second stage of the reform process, which will involve developing and costing proposals for change, including changes to how care and support is funded, and how people contribute. The Who Cares? consultation report, as well as further information on the reform process, can be found on the Department’s websiteexternal link
The Minister concluded: “I would like to thank all those individuals and organisations who got involved in the Who Cares? consultation, whether by working with my Department to organise events, or by attending those events or responding in writing – your comments, views and suggestions are a valuable contribution to helping my Department set the future direction and funding of care and support services in NI.”