‘It’s time for Action’ for Health Care Leaders!

10/04/2019

‘It’s time for Action’ for Health Care Leaders!‘It’s time for action’ was the key message of the Fermanagh and West Tyrone Health Summit today (09 April 2019) at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen.  Health and social care leaders from across the province joined with community and public representatives to listen to the findings of one of the biggest engagement events ever in the field of health and social care in Northern Ireland, the Fermanagh and West Tyrone Pathfinder project. 
 
Since July 2018, the Western Trust's Fermanagh and West Tyrone Pathfinder Project has engaged 2,200 people in over 62 venues across many diverse settings from community centres in Derrygonnelly to sporting halls in Loughmacrory and from farm sheds in Brookeborough to hospital staff rooms in Enniskillen and Omagh.
 
Over 170 delegates attended the summit.  Professor Bengoa a respected healthcare contributor and the author of ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together’ - the blueprint for health and social care transformation in Northern Ireland - was the guest speaker at the summit.
 
Speaking at the conference, Professor Bengoa said:  "It is very encouraging where you are and where you are heading.We are doing the same thing in the Nordic countries, the Basque country and parts of Spain and Italy. We are trying to get out of a model to a more community oriented model. You have a hard job in implementing and I think that you are already starting that implementation.

"I think what is going to make it possible is innovative ability. You can't avoid this change any more because of quality and availability of care. I am encouraged this morning, I think we have to bring together the countries that are doing this to see if we can bring our experiences and view of power people are bringing to this model.

"The most striking thing for me in NI is that you are the most generous system in the world compared to others. The population in NI is receiving something that is not what others are receiving. Apart from needing the community, they need to start understanding what they are getting. I think it is important from the community for them to realise that idea."

Professor Bengoa continued: "The interesting thing about Pathfinder I think it is quite an intelligent way of reengaging with the community. We are finding with clinicians and nurse involvement the pathway is already changing the way we organise hospitals, thinking in a completely different way. Here you are far ahead of other countries, the UK in general in that new way of leading an organisation."
 
Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: “It is widely accepted that we need to transform health and social care to provide reliable and sustainable services for the future. Sticking with the status quo would result in a system stretched to breaking point. To secure lasting transformation, we need society-wide discussion and engagement on the best way forward. That is why initiatives like this Pathfinder project are so important.”
 
Dr Anne Kilgallen, Western Trust Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to have Professor Bengoa with us today as our critical friend in this very important project for this region. The Pathfinder project has created a platform which brings together people with expertise and experience from many diverse backgrounds to help shape the delivery of health and social care in Fermanagh and West Tyrone.  As a Trust, our ambition is to give life to, ‘Delivering Together’, approved by the NI Executive in 2016, and we believe this work is helping us to do just that.”
 
Dr Kilgallen continued: “This Pathfinder project has not only presented a unique opportunity to take a critical look at how we do things in health and social are in Fermanagh and West Tyrone, it has also created a very strong platform for us to begin to develop sustainable services well into the future.  It has become very clear the status quo is no longer an option.  We have listened to many varied opinions and views across the communities of Fermanagh and West Tyrone and I want to extend my thanks to the 2,200 people who have contributed to this project so far.”
 
“We have recently appointed seven ‘Experts by Experience’ and look forward to see the values of co-production highlighted as this process unfolds. I would like to thank you for your input today and as we move forward together, we hope you enjoy the next steps on this journey.”
 
Western Trust Deputy Chief Executive, and Pathfinder Lead Kieran Downey said: “We announced Pathfinder in July 2018 and have undertaken a very intensive period of engagement with all stakeholders across Fermanagh and West Tyrone. This engagement was the foundation stone of the whole initiative involving patients, staff, community and voluntary groups, carers, action groups, public representatives and other stakeholders and I have been humbled by the stories I have heard. This has made me more determined to ensure the current and future needs of the community are properly met and to deliver on finding the best route forward for affordable and sustainable Health and Social Care for the people of Fermanagh and West Tyrone.
 
Kieran continued: “This summit today provides us with a platform to focus on the future design and planning of health and social care services in Fermanagh and West Tyrone by working together through effective community collaboration. With the Public Health Agency (PHA) leading a recalibration of the population health needs analysis, the next phase in the process will involve the seven appointed independent ‘Experts by Experience (PPI) joining a number of influential stakeholders across four work streams influenced by ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together’, to look at designing and developing plans for the delivery of services going forward.”
 
A new online hub for the Pathfinder initiative has been launched and you can view the latest information on the Pathfinder initiative here.