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Publication

Sláintecare in Action

Published: 31 July 2019
From: Department of Health

Introduction

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.

Sláintecare and Community and Voluntary Sector Gather to Discuss Opportunities

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:

“The Community and Voluntary sector is vital to the delivery of integrated care, as close to home as possible. That is why we are meeting with the sector today to hear their views on Sláintecare, and what role the Community and Voluntary sector can play as we work together over the coming years to deliver Sláintecare.”

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:

“This is a very important opportunity for Sláintecare as we enter the initial design phase of the Regional Integrated Care Areas. The Community and Voluntary sector are bringing Sláintecare alive every day, and they are a crucial link between patients and service users. Hearing from those who are providing services and delivering care as part of the broader health and social care system is vital to the implementation of Sláintecare”.

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:

“I would sincerely like to thank all participants for their commitment to Sláintecare in coming here today and providing valuable input. The Community and Voluntary sector are key stakeholders for us in the Sláintecare journey, and I look forward to continued engagement”.

Integration Fund

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 Sláintecare Integration Fund projects are leading examples of how innovative thinking can bring about meaningful and long-lasting change to health and social care in Ireland."
“These projects show how joined-up thinking and working in partnership can help us reach Sláintecare’s goals of shifting the majority of care to the community, reducing waiting lists and improving experiences for patients and staff across the health and social care system in Ireland. I look forward to seeing the end results of these projects and how they might be scaled up.”

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.

More information on the projects will be available once contracts for all projects have been concluded. Keep an eye on our Twitter and website for updates.

List of successful projects for the Sláintecare Integration Fund

Successful applicants for the €20 million Sláintecare Integration Fund.

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Map of Sláintecare Integration Fund projects

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Regional Health Areas

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.

View a map of the new regional health areas here.

Questions and Answers

Minister for Health confirms restructuring of health services and delivers key Sláintecare commitment

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Policy