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Wheelchair Reform scoops prestigious award


The Regional Wheelchair Reform has won the Health and Social Care (HSC) Engage Award for its Service User Involvement at the recent Institute of Healthcare Management’s Annual Awards ceremony 2009.

The HSC Engage Award acknowledges how health and social care organisations in Northern Ireland are working in partnership with stakeholders and recognises innovative work in personal and public involvement (PPI). It also offers an excellent opportunity for pioneering work to be distinguished and rewarded.

The Regional Wheelchair Reform Group was made up of service users, occupational therapists, HSC organisations, Department of Health, Social Care and Public Safety, voluntary and community sector representatives. The aim of the Group was to develop a person-centred, accessible, responsive and equitable service so that people are provided with a wheelchair as soon as possible after assessment. Following the Review in 2008, a Regional Wheelchair Implementation Board was established and is currently putting into action the recommendations from the Review ensuring that a high quality and more accessible service is available for all wheelchair users across the province.

In accepting the Award, Jacqueline Magee, Service User Facilitator with the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Co-Chair of the Regional Wheelchair Implementation Board said: “I’m delighted to accept this prestigious award on behalf of everyone involved in this reform and in particular to all the service users who were core to the process.

“Many of those services users are currently actively involved in the Wheelchair Implementation Board tasked to ensure that the recommendations of the Reform are put into practice over the coming months. I would like to personally thank each and every one involved in this reform for their continuous commitment in helping to provide improvements for local wheelchair users.”

Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Services with the HSCB added: “This award illustrates how service user, carer and other stakeholder involvement is an essential element of today’s health and social care decision making process. Service User Involvement has impacted on health and social care planning, design, delivery and evaluation of new and existing services and the Wheelchair Reform has been an excellent example of this important engagement.”

“I would like to congratulate all members of the Reform Group in winning this award and in particular the service users who took time from their personal lives to join up and have their voices heard in reforming Wheelchair Services in Northern Ireland.”