A celebration event has been held for carers and service users to thank them for their contribution to the work of the Health and Social Care Board.
Hosted by the Board, the purpose of the event was to mark the significant and invaluable work that service users and carers have contributed to date, to listen to their views and experiences working with the Board and to further develop the Board’s future plans for Personal and Public Involvement.
Speaking at the event, Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care and Children with the HSCB said: “I am delighted that so many people took the time to join us today. Your involvement contributes greatly to the planning and reviewing of health and social care services in order to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Northern Ireland.
“I would like to thank everyone for their significant contribution to the work of the Board. Services will only improve if we work in partnership with those who use health and social care services and those with caring responsibilities. This event will have produced important feedback for us, and in line with our commitment to enhancing service user and carer involvement, this feedback will enhance our future plans.”
Over 60 service users and carers attended the event and were provided with an opportunity to speak directly to the Board Directors, Local Commissioning Group Chairs and Leads and other Board staff about their experiences. Attendees were able to inform Board members of what was working well and what needs to be improved on in the future.
Laura Collins, carer representative for the East Belfast Integrated Care Partnership said:
“Integrated Care Partnerships are a great example of people powered health in action. The views of carers, service users and representatives of the community and voluntary sector have been given equal standing amongst health and social care providers and Board staff also listened to our concerns about how our voice could be strengthened. Our views have not been filed away but have been developed into an action plan that will make a real difference to how health and social care services are delivered locally for frail older people and those with long term conditions.”
Dr Ian Clements, Chairman of the Board said: “Personal and Public Involvement is highly important to the Board. I am very pleased to have witnessed so many individuals that have contributed key roles to our work across all directorates.
“This involvement enables us to ensure that the services we design and deliver are what the people of Northern Ireland need, and make a real difference to so many lives.
“It is so encouraging to see this work taking place and we will continue to strengthen this fundamental part of the Board’s business.”