Supporting older people to remain in their own homes and communities
Over 100 people attended two recent learning events, one in Letterkenny and one in Sligo to find out about and get involved in a new EU INTERREG VA funded project called mPower. This project aims to support older people with long-term conditions or chronic illnesses to live well, safely and independently in their own homes. The mPower project will operate in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The learning event, organised by the HSE’s Community Healthcare Organisation area 1, was attended by GPs, GP practice staff, primary care teams, managers, senior clinicians working with people with a long term condition, hospital and community representatives.
Through the use of case studies which featured people who had received similar services and presentations from clinicians who have implemented technology enabled care, attendees heard how the mPower project will support people to manage their health and tap into local support and community networks. The project is targeting those over 65 years of age, living with long-term conditions or chronic illnesses.
From Left to right: John MacDonald, Community Engagement Coordinator, SCVO | Ann Lawlor, mPower Implementation Lead South Leitrim | Maria McDaid, INTERREG VA – Campaigns Co-ordinator, HBS Recruit, HSE | Michael Rooney INTERREG VA – Programme Manager, North/South Health Unit | Cara ONeill, Head of Service, Health & Wellbeing HSE CHO Area 1 |Alan Connor, mPower Programme Manager |Cathal Hand, Monaghan Primary Care Network Manager, HSE CHO Area 1 | Kathleen McGuire, Strategic Lead Long Term Conditions, Senior Manager Enhanced Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation, NHS Ayrshire and Arran | Rachel Morrison, MS Specialist Nurse, NHS Western Isles
The two key aspects of the mPower project includes social prescribing which will signpost and connect people to local activities and services that can support their health and well-being. Technology solutions will also be provided and could include home and mobile health monitoring devices/solutions, Apps and using video for clinical consultations.
A number of sites in the HSE’s Donegal, Leitrim and Monaghan areas have been identified to host the new services including the catchment areas of Finn Valley Primary Care Team in Donegal, the South Leitrim Primary Care Team and the Carrickmacross Primary Care Team in Co. Monaghan.
Ms Cara O’ Neill, Head of Health and Wellbeing welcomed all attendees to the events and said, “that today was a momentous occasion as the project commences in the area after months of careful design and planning. This project gives us a real opportunity to test and implement exciting new technologies to support older people in their own homes.
Mr Peter Walker, CHO 1 Social Inclusion Officer said, “The employment of mPower staff to deliver the Project in South Leitrim, Finn Valley in Donegal and in Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan is an exciting development, the Project Staff are already planning follow up meetings with Clinicians to explore how best to action the opportunities presented by this investment in health and well being which puts the older person at the centre of delivery and decision making.”
Mr John Hayes, Chief Officer attended the Letterkenny event and addressed the audience. Mr Hayes said that he was delighted that CHO 1 will benefit from this innovative project and looks forward to seeing the new services implemented with older people benefitting from this very welcome EU funding in our area.
Overall the mPower project is valued at €8.7million, of which €3.5 million has been secured from the EU’s INTERREG VA programme for the border counties of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This allocation to the border areas has been secured by the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) Health and Social Care Partnership and the project partners which are the HSE, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and Western Health and Social Care Trust.
Over the next 3 and half years mPower ‘Community Navigators’ will be employed to work with people referred from health and social care services to develop health and wellbeing plans connecting them to activities in their community as well as to health and well-being technology designed for home and mobile use. Over the course of the project, across the three regions, mPower will support a total of 2,500 people through the development of wellbeing plans, and a total of 4,500 people through technology / eHealth interventions.
Please see mPower web site for further details: https://mpowerhealth.eu
Anybody seeking more information on the mPower project should contact:
- Alan Connor, mPower Programme Manager, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ann Lawlor, mPower Implementation Lead, South Leitrim, email:mailto:email@example.com
- Conor Fitzgerald, mPower Lead, Donegal, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to editors:
- The mPower project has a budget of €8.7million and is funded through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, and match funded by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and the Scottish Government.
- The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by The Department of Finance in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.
- The INTERREG VA Programme has a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contribution of €240 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.
For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu