Health Minister Robin Swann today highlighted the challenges facing HSC services and his continued commitment to delivering the transformation agenda, he also thanked HSC staff for their ongoing dedication throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Robin Swann was addressing the 10th annual Northern Ireland Confederation (NICON) Conference. Speaking at the conference the Health Minister said: “We face many challenges as we enter this difficult winter period, but we have already achieved so much, learned so much, and shown our resilience and compassion for each other. And we will do so again.

“As we come together today, we have a renewed focus on partnership working, on supporting and valuing our workforce, on the importance of strong and supportive leadership, on delivering quality services, and on enhancing our capacity and capabilities within e-health; more important now than ever in this time of home working, telephone triage and contact tracing.

“Whilst we must face the challenges that lie ahead, we must also continue to rebuild; to transform our services in a way that ensures they are here for those who need them today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.”

Up to 300 participants from the HSC and wider stakeholder groups took part in this year’s online event. Delegates attending the conference are drawn from across the HSC, and also include key strategic partners from the community and voluntary sector, health and social care experts and practitioners.

Speaking about the importance of innovation, the Health Minister continued: “This year has seen us invest in our community pharmacies to enable them to play a full part in the HSC response to the pandemic and ensure that those who need medication and the expert advice of pharmacists could always access it.

“In Northern Ireland we have always been at the forefront of innovation in pharmacy practice and medicines optimisation and I am very pleased to see that a new partnership between our regional Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre (MOIC) and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has been agreed. This, I believe, will ensure that long term collaboration between the HSC and industry is focused on where it can add most value in making innovation as widely available to patients as possible.”