Northern Ireland

Transforming Your Care here to stay says Valerie Watts

Valerie Watts Image copyright bbc
Image caption Valerie Watts said Transforming Your Care had had problems but was here to stay

The chief executive of NI's Health and social care board has said the health policy Transforming Your Care is here to stay.

Valerie Watts also told delegates at a health conference that a more open and transparent debate was required around how society pays for care.

Transforming Your Care (TYC) is the biggest overhaul of the health service in Northern Ireland for decades.

Ms Watts admitted it had had branding issues, including much bad publicity.

In a frank and open address, Ms Watts outlined her views on delivering reform to several hundreds delegates attending the annual NI Confederation of Health and Social Care conference.

She said Northern Ireland needed a more open and honest debate about paying for services, including payments for social care.

Ms Watts said while she believed strongly in the NHS principles of from cradle to grave, the institution could not be fossilised.

In a very personal speech, she said that leaders' behaviour often contradicted the words that came out of their mouths.

"Reform is difficult and it takes time and belief," she said.

"There is danger in disingenuous reform, fads and the confusion that follows.

"This board needs to continue looking at itself and and changes to improve need to happen ASAP."

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