Sláintecare in Action highlights the latest projects and activities that are helping us to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time.
Minister for Health Simon Harris T.D. today welcomed over 80 Community and Voluntary organisations, representing thousands of Community and Voluntary workers at a conference on Sláintecare. The aim of the conference was to discuss Sláintecare and its implications for the work of the Community and Voluntary sector in health and social care.
Minister Harris said:
Recognising the important role of the Community and Voluntary sector in the delivery of health and social care services as well as support services, the conference was an early opportunity to connect with the sector in order to gather their views and opinions on Sláintecare.
Laura Magahy, Executive Director of Sláintecare opened the conference with Bridget Johnston, Chair of the Health Reform Alliance, co-organiser of the conference, providing an update on Sláintecare progress to date. The vibrancy and diversity of the sector was acknowledged as one its greatest strengths in contributing to the delivery of Sláintecare, where reaching people in their communities is key.
Laura Magahy said:
Sara Burke delivered her reflections on Sláintecare from a policy and research perspective. Some of her top messages included the importance of population based planning and the positive difference this can make to how care is delivered in the context of the new Regional Integrated Care Areas.
Gráinne Healy, an expert in citizen engagement, cited the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare Sláintecare Report on the importance of Citizen Engagement to the success of Sláintecare. With the community links of the participating organisations, engagement was highlighted as a key opportunity for the sector in the implementation of Sláintecare.
Conference participants, some of whom are also successful Integration Fund Projects presented their project objectives, benefits and expected outcomes, and how they will contribute to the delivery of Sláintecare’s goals. The organisations cover areas such as Mental Health, Positive Ageing and chronic conditions.
The Minister concluded:
One hundred and twenty-two successful Integration Fund Projects were announced by Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, on 16th September 2019.
The €20 million fund was committed in Budget 2019 to test and scale ideas that demonstrate the Sláintecare goals of the right care, delivered in the right place and at the right time.
Speaking at the launch of the Integration Fund, Minister Harris said:
The successful projects are in more than 100 locations right across the country. The project partners range from hospitals, hospital groups, Community Health Organisations, Community and Voluntary Organisations, Universities and Primary Care Centres.
Many successful projects will be delivered in partnership between hospitals and community organisations, highlighting the emphasis on integrated care and shifting care to the community.
The Minister made the announcement in Fatima Groups United Family Resource Centre, who were successful with their project “Dublin 8 Social Prescribing Project”. The project will strengthen the links with the existing healthcare practitioners in health and social care services, expand community programmes that respond to people’s needs within the area, covering issues such as stress and anxiety, exercise and healthy eating, education, and social Integration.
The project will also deliver a comprehensive evaluation that illustrates the need for social prescribing on a national basis.
On 17th July 2019, a major step towards the restructuring of our health services was announced. This restructuring will ultimately establish six new regional health bodies, which will be responsible for planning and delivering health and social care in their regions.
The new regional health areas are in line with recommendations made in the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare Sláintecare Report (2017), that regional bodies should be responsible for the planning and delivery of integrated health and social care services.
The proposed six regional health areas are based on population data, including how people currently access health services, as well as a public consultation.
This population-based approach will allow us to hear from the people in each region and ensure that an emphasis is placed on preventing sickness, keeping people healthy in or near their own homes for as long as possible and ensuring that excellent hospital care is available in a timely way, where necessary.
While the HSE will continue to be the central executive with responsibility for planning and strategy, restructuring will mean health regions will have greater autonomy to make decisions at a local level. Regional health bodies will have their own budget based on local population needs. This will enable the delivery of people-centred health and social care as well as supporting improved accountability and transparency.
Read the press release here.