NI Remote Monitoring Service – did the rot start at the top?

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Perhaps I [editor Steve] have been too hard on the people at Northern Ireland’s European Centre for Connected Health (ECCH) for the extremely slow procurement of the NI Remote Monitoring Service. Their languorous approach may have emanated from their ultimate boss, the responsible minister, Michael McGimpsy.

In the the course of his budget speech to the NI Assembly his ‘colleague’, the finance minister, attacked Mr McGimpsy for months of inaction on a report that would help save money in health and social services: “Many times over recent weeks, I have highlighted how the Executive afforded funding protection to health services at the Draft Budget stage…However…I would emphasise the significant backdrop to this…The McKinsey Report, while welcome, has been presented very late in the day, and without any accompanying commentary from the Minister. While it seeks to articulate the cost pressures facing DHSSPS, it also sets out some material savings that can be made in the sector. Interestingly, it also highlights that every month’s delay in pursuing these savings will reduce the quantum of achievable savings in 2014-15 by £5million. I note, with regret, that despite the report being received in DHSSPS some five months ago, to date no action has been taken on it by the Health Minister…in particular, I would ask the very basic question – has he as yet developed an implementation plan for this necessary work?”

Whole budget speech. News of the budget vote from the Belfast Telegraph, including McGimpsy’s involvement in a ministerial revolt: Budget is bludgeoned through as ministers stage revolt.