More than 100 people from a wide range of backgrounds attended a workshop on 30 April organised by Integrated Care Partnerships and the Long Term Conditions Alliance NI to discuss health and well-being, how people with long term conditions can be better supported to self-manage their conditions and what can be done to work in a more integrated way with the voluntary and community sector.
The delegates included people living with long term conditions, GPs, community pharmacists, staff from Trusts across the province and people working and volunteering in the voluntary and community sector.
There was a fantastic sharing of work currently underway in Northern Ireland that supports people to stay well or to better manage their condition including work on Peer Support in the Southern Trust, the Connected Communities initiative through the Belfast ICPs and the work of the Community Development Health Network in improving health literacy.
Attendees also heard from people involved in Integrated Care Partnerships, including Linda Armitage from East Belfast Community Development Agency and Heather Weir NI Hospice, about how they have allowed closer working between the HSC system and the community and voluntary sector, the barriers which still exist and the potential solutions to be taken forward.
There was also an opportunity to learn from the work underway in Scotland with presentations from the Health and Social Care Alliance in Scotland who shared their learning from the 10 years since the launch of their Self Management strategy and their work in driving integration across the sectors.
Attendees at the workshop discussed what keeps them happy, healthy and well and their feedback was presented in a word cloud which demonstrated that friends and family and social connection were among the most important things.
A report based on the discussions from the workshop will be circulated and work will continue to make progress on the suggested actions through the Integrated Care Partnerships with the support of the Long Term Conditions Alliance and other partners.