Health Minister Edwin Poots was in the city today (06 March) to deliver the keynote address at the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care (NICON) Conference at the Millennium Forum.
The Minister took the opportunity to confirm his determination to address the challenges faced in transforming our health service. Addressing managers across the Health and Social Care system, the Minister emphasised the importance of leadership, transparency and innovation, saying: "If we are truly to embed innovation, we must become less risk averse - as individuals, as organisations, as a system.
"Accountability and an evidence base are clearly essential, but our leaders need the freedom to develop ideas. We need to be quicker at recognising better practice and implementing it more broadly.
“I want leaders who are willing to do things differently. Every initiative won't always work. But I'll value those who try and don't always succeed over those who don't take that risk".
He also emphasised new measures aimed to ensure greater transparency in the health service.
“In order to continue to build trust, there is a need for greater openness and transparency. That is why I am moving ahead on public accountability for Arms Length Bodies. From May onwards, a number of organisations will take part in public accountability meetings with me each year. I will also take opportunities to meet more frequently with groups of service users and staff on the ground to hear their views about the services that these organisations provide. I hope that these meetings will enhance the accountability of our health and social care services into the future," he said.