Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

The future for health and social care services in NI - improving service delivery and value for money, and implementing the Bengoa reforms

Morning, Wednesday, 7th October 2020


With the recent restoration of the Executive, this seminar will provide a timely opportunity to discuss the future of health and social care services in Northern Ireland.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Levels of available funding for the health and social care system, ensuring value for money, and assessing the priorities for investment;
  • Addressing workforce concerns and improving recruitment and retention;
  • The recently-announced review of urgent and emergency care by the Department for Health, and next steps for development of a waiting times action plan;
  • Implementing the Bengoa report’s recommendations for greater healthcare integration - introduction of Accountable Care Systems and an increased role for community care; and
  • Delivering high quality health and social care services, and priorities for regulation in raising standards and supporting reform.

Speakers and chair

There will be keynote addresses from:

  • Robin Swann MLA, Minister of Health - on the Executive’s vision for the reform of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, and key priorities for the year;
  • Pat Cullen, Director, RCN Northern Ireland - on the priorities for the health workforce in Northern Ireland, particularly around recruitment, retention and safe staffing levels; and
  • Kieran Donnelly, Comptroller and Auditor General, Northern Ireland Audit Office - on the funding and financing issues surrounding health and social care services in Northern Ireland, and priorities for delivering services that offer value for money.

The agenda

  • Transforming health and social care services in NI - key policy priorities;
  • Tackling immediate issues in Health and Social Care - service delivery and workforce priorities:
    • The state of health and social care - challenges in implementation;
    • Reducing waiting times and delivering better outcomes; and
    • Priorities for staff recruitment and retention.
  • Delivering value for money in health and social care services;
  • The Bengoa review - what was learned, what has been implemented, and next steps;
  • Ensuring high quality health and social care services: effective regulation, improving standards and supporting change; and
  • Driving towards new models of care - accountable care systems, integration and community care.

Keynote Speakers

Robin Swann MLA

Minister for Health

Pat Cullen

Director, RCN Northern Ireland

Professor Deirdre Heenan

Professor of Social Sciences and Director, Health & Wellbeing Research Centre, Ulster University

Professor Rafael Bengoa

Chair, Expert Panel, ‘Systems, Not Structures: Changing Health and Social Care’ Report and Director, Institute for Health and Strategy, Bilbao


Paula Bradshaw MLA

Member, Committee for Health, Northern Ireland Assembly


Kieran Donnelly

Comptroller and Auditor General, Northern Ireland Audit Office