Community and voluntary representatives from the Causeway area joined forces recently to examine how they can work together to transform local health and social care services through the Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs).
ICPs are collaborative networks of care providers, bringing together healthcare professionals (including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, ambulance staff and hospital specialists); the voluntary and community sectors; local council representatives; and service users and carers, to design and co-ordinate local health and social care services.
There are four ICPs in the Northern area: Causeway, Antrim/Ballymena, East Antrim and Mid Ulster.
The recent “Working Together for Better Health” event in Portstewart attracted around 40 community and voluntary sector representatives from across the Causeway area.
Organised by the Causeway ICP in association with the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the event included presentations from Dr Brian Patterson, Regional Clinical Lead for ICPs in the Northern area, and the Council’s Elizabeth Beattie.
This is the second session in a series of meetings aimed at giving the community and voluntary sector a chance to consider how they can shape future services.
Albert Clyde, Chair and service user representative of the Causeway ICP, explained: “ICPs are now working in local areas to improve care for older people and those with some long term conditions, such as respiratory conditions, stroke and diabetes. The input from the community and voluntary sectors to date has proven that local groups and organisations have valuable knowledge and skills to support the delivery of health and social care.
“This event provided an opportunity to build new, and strengthen existing, partnership working between the HSC and the community and voluntary sector in the Causeway area and we look forward to identifying more opportunities to work together going forward.”
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Alderman Maura Hickey, said she was delighted the Council was involved in the initiative.