The Minister of Health, Robin Swann, launched his “Strategic Framework for Rebuilding Health and Social Care Services” in the Assembly today, 9 June 2020.
Each of the six Health and Social Care Trusts have been working on their individual plans to rebuild their services in this period following the first phase of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, today, publishes its plan for Phase 1 of the rebuilding process. The plan examines the steps taken by NIAS that enabled us to adequately manage the first phase of the Pandemic while charting a way forward, initially, to the end of June when recovery plans will commence for the period July to September.
As we continue to move out of the first phase of the Pandemic, we do so with one eye firmly on the horizon for the emergence of any future waves of the virus which will require us to respond quickly to meet the needs of our patients. We are confident that, based on our experiences over the past number of months, we will be able to re-direct our resources to quickly respond to any changing needs of our patients.
Our staff have been the main reason that we were able to manage the situation thrust upon us in March. It is they who will have a key role in managing the NIAS response to future waves of the virus and protecting them remains our priority.
We will, in this recovery phase, reinforce those measures which can impact their ability to be available to respond to patients at their time of need. We will continue to emphasise the importance of social distancing and infection control as the key barriers to the spread of the virus. We will continue to work at securing adequate supplies of the most appropriate PPE for their use.
We will also build upon the positive experiences from our management of the first phase of the Pandemic. We want to explore the potential for greater use of technology in creative and innovative ways which became evident during that time.
We will seek to do all of this while working with our staff, our patients and our partners in HSC, guided by the principles contained within the introduction of our plan, which is accessible at:
The Minister has indicated that services will not and cannot resume as before. Better ways of delivering services will require innovation, sustained investment and, crucially, society-wide support. NIAS will be part of that rebuilding process, seeking to improve with new ways of working that will bring tangible benefits to our patients, staff and HSC partners.
We would ask for your continued support and patience while our full range of services begin to come online and we assure you that we will do our very best to be there for you at your time of need and provide the care most appropriate to your needs.