Recommendations on the formation of specific groups and arrangements for the management and governance of all groups have been included as part of a report on the establishment of hospital groups as a transition to hospital trusts. This report is based on a comprehensive consultation process, as well as a significant number of submissions from stakeholders and individual citizens. These recommendations have been considered and endorsed by a Strategic Board composed of representatives with national and international expertise in health service delivery, governance and linkages with academic institutions.
The report on the establishment of hospital groups as a transition to independent hospital trust has been presented to me by the Chair of the Strategic Board, Professor John Higgins. I intend to prioritise consideration of this report, which will then be submitted to and presented to Government for decision on the hospital groups composition in light of the recommendations of the Report.
The Government will then decide on the initial make up of hospital groups which will be established on an administrative basis pending the legislation required to set up hospital trusts by 2015. Before those trusts are established the composition and functioning of the Groups will be reviewed and if changes prove necessary then they will be made with Government approval when the hospital trusts are being formed. As such I cannot comment at this time on the final composition of the new Hospital Groups and will not be publishing the Report or its recommendations prior to it going to Cabinet.