Belfast Local Commissioning Group
Thursday 21st January 2010
Shared agenda to spearhead future action on health
Community groups and inner city partnership bodies from across Belfast will today highlight the need for further improvements to health and social services for people living there. A number of groups that actively work in the inner city will outline their concerns and preferences for future action at today’s meeting of the Belfast Local Commissioning Group – the local arm of the regional Health and Social Care Board – at its monthly public meeting at Castlereagh Borough Council, which starts at 3pm.
The Chairman of the Local Commissioning Group (LCG), Belfast GP Dr George O’Neill, said community action played a vital role in identifying local need and in working with mainstream health and social care organisations to tackle this.
“The reality in the inner city is that community and voluntary bodies are often a first port of call for many people who have chronic health problems,” said Dr O’Neill. “They provide a range of vital voluntary care services such as home helps and counselling, and they are very well placed to advise health and social care planners about what their communities need both now and in the future,” he said.
Among a range of interest groups attending or being represented at today’s meeting of the LCG are:
Sandy Row Community Forum
Lower Ormeau Action Group
The East Belfast Partnership
South Belfast Healthy Living Centre
The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust will also provide a presentation on how it is currently working to address health and social care needs in the inner city, where economic and social deprivation has traditionally resulted in higher rates of illness.
Dr O’Neill said the LCG would listen carefully to all of the representations that were made and would wish to work in close co-operation with community and voluntary bodies to develop a shared agenda for future action.
Local Commissioning Groups or LCGs comprise representatives of professional bodies, community interests and elected representatives who bring local influence to the work of the Board. The Belfast LCG is one of five that have been established and now forms a key part of the Health and Social Care Board’s work to plan and develop services across Northern Ireland.
Dr O’Neill also thanked Castlereagh Borough Council for hosting today’s public meeting of the LCG and said this again reflected the benefits of working in active partnership with local government.
For further information or to seek an interview opportunity, contact Ivan Maginnis at the Health and Social Care Board on 028 9055 3740 or 077 74 295 407.