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Supporting independence is key to sustaining high quality health care in the future - Poots

Health Minister, Edwin Poots today gave the key note address at Lisburn City Council’s ‘Supporting Independence – Challenges and Change’ event.
Friday, 24 May 2013

The event, organized by Lisburn city council, brought speakers and local exhibitors together to exchange information and ideas on the important area of ‘supporting independence’.

Speaking to elected representatives, MLAs and members of the community and voluntary sector, the Minister said “Transforming Your Care (TYC) acknowledges that people who receive services need to be able to exercise greater control and also greater choice so that services meet the needs of individuals as far as possible.

“Of course, it would be unfair to advocate such an approach without making sure that appropriate support is in place to enable people to maximize their independence in a positive way. TYC recognizes this and indicates that patients, service users and their carers should be helped to take the important decisions about their own care and empowered to take ownership of their own health.”

The Minister outlined some of the key ways in which Transforming Your Care is helping to support independence in local communities. He highlighted the investment in community care, prevention and early intervention activities within mental health and learning disability services and the continued efforts to support the resettlement of long stay residents. He also highlighted his commitment to enhancing support for carers and the £500,000 investment in encouraging innovation in the area of respite and short breaks for carers.

The Minister also set out the opportunities provided by self directed support which is another key strand to the work of supporting independence. He said “Self-directed support allows individuals the opportunity to decide when, and in what form, services are provided to them, who provides those services, and who becomes involved in very personal aspects of their lives.

“Self-directed support puts real power into the hands of service users and carers and allows them to take more control over their lives, offering greater flexibility, independence and choice in how and when services are provided enabling individuals to tailor their support package to their individual needs.”

The Minister commended the opportunity provided by today’s event to bring together local and regional organizations and elected representatives to foster enhanced understanding of opportunities to support people locally. He said: “This is a great opportunity for local groups to come together to showcase their services, share good practice, and build lasting relationships for the benefit of people in our local area.”

Notes to editors:

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