A specially themed health Council meeting set up between Newry Mourne and Down District Council, the Southern and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trusts, and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service took place on Monday 30 October 2017 in the Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick.
The meeting is the first in a collaborative working relationship between the four bodies and the aim is to ensure a strategic and co-operative approach to community planning on matters of health and social care across the Newry Mourne and Down District.
A number of issues were raised at the meeting including tackling health inequalities, hospital services at Down and Daisy Hill Hospitals, dealing with workforce issues and increased provision for services at home and in the community.
Chairperson of the Council Cllr Roisin Mulgrew said, “We had a very productive and informative first meeting. Recent strategic reviews on health and social care such as Bengoa and Transforming Your care, have all highlighted that there is a need to transform the way in which we deliver health and social care.”
“This is all about collaboration and working together to create a better relationship through strategic community planning that will ultimately ensure better health outcomes for the whole community.”
“I welcome the very open and proactive approach from the Trusts and other bodies involved and I hope this marks the beginning of a very constructive working relationship that will benefit all of our citizens.”
Director of Hospital Services at South Eastern HSC Trust, Seamus McGoran said, “We had a very constructive meeting on Monday evening and we look forward to working further with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and other partners as part of delivering the Community Plan, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of the local population and to address health inequalities.”
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Shane Devlin, highlighted the importance of meetings of this type saying, “I was delighted to participate in such a collaborative meeting. The potential of all parts of the Health and Social Care family working closely with the Council, to deliver to the wider aims of improving the health of the population, cannot be underestimated. I look forward to participating in future meetings.”
Francis Rice Chief Executive (Interim) of the Southern Trust said, “I welcome this opportunity to meet with colleagues from both the Council and partner Health bodies and to provide a briefing on local key health and care issues. I look forward to future meetings where we can further strengthen our collaborative working with the shared aim of improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.”