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We Need Your Help To Shape Adult Services

Improvements in health, diet and preventative care means that people in Northern Ireland are living longer. This is good news. However, the care and support services that are intended to help people to live an independent, healthy, active and inclusive lifestyle need to be reformed in order to meet the future needs of an increasing ageing population.

To make these reforms and improvements in adult care and support services, the Department of Health is undertaking a review of the adult social care services to ensure these services can cope with an increase in demand.

As part of this review an Expert Advisory Panel has been set up to find out what type of help people need and how they wish it to be delivered. To do this the panel needs to hear and listen to the views and experiences of service users and carers.

If you have experience of care and support services, including the provision of domiciliary care (care in the home), residential and nursing home care, day opportunities, short breaks and specialist equipment, the expert panel would like to hear from you.

Laura Collins is an unpaid family carer who has had experience of the health and social care system in Northern Ireland for the past 35 years. Over the years, Laura has sat on many committees, providing service user and carer feedback on our health and social care services.

Laura said: “Citizen feedback, whether good or bad, will help drive safety and quality improvements. Unfortunately, the importance of this ‘half’ of our health service is often not acknowledged as it does not have the high profile of acute services.

“Social care is so important. It is really about providing personal and practical support to help people live their lives. It is about enabling them to maintain their independence, dignity and control. It’s what we all would wish for ourselves.”

Laura added: “There is now a unique opportunity for lay people to engage proactively with the recently appointed Social Care Expert Advisory Panel.

“The co-creation door is wide open and awaits those who want to share their experience, help design improved systems and be joint partners in reform.”

Are you a service user who wants to get involved? Perhaps you’re a carer who wants to share your experience? If so, please contact by Tuesday 31 January 2017.

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Previous comments ...

Eliz R 30-Jan-2017 at 12:31 hrs

Have been receiving care in the home for 30 years.
Contractor employed carer,s itineries DO NOT ALLOW suffient time for travelling and in rural areas this results in haphazard arrival times,rushed task orientated- tick box caring with a "take it or leave it " attitude. Does anyone check intinery scedules?
In fact does any one check what is happening "on the ground" I havent noticed anyone from the service commissioners.!


Kathy Wolff 23-Jan-2017 at 11:34 hrs

My father would have loved to stay at home but it wasn't to be. Problems that we faced were :- getting the right equipment when it was needed and then getting it lifted when he died, not being sure what time carers were coming to get him up and ready. We would have needed more information on who we should be contacting and what Dad and Mum needed was support and not more problems. My family clubbed together and put a stair lift in so that Dad could get out of hospital and return home as we were told it could take up to 2 years for funding to put it in. it was a good job that we could afford to do this not all families can.


Desmond Arthur 21-Jan-2017 at 23:28 hrs

After having a replacement knee operation, I was supposed to go home a few days later. Because my discharge date was a Friday Social Care could not organise domiciliary care for me. Reasons were - because of my age or where I lived. They could not get anyone to take "me on." I had to wait an extra 3 days in order to get home on Monday afternoon. Social services need to work over the weekend or more patients will have to spend weekends in a hospital bed when they are fit enough to go home. More beds could be freed up if the would staff the office for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday.


Catherine Seawright 21-Jan-2017 at 22:13 hrs

My mother was receiving care services at home then went into a nursing home sadly passed away last march I would like to improve care services especially from a patient with dementia point of view


Annie J 21-Jan-2017 at 06:56 hrs

Yet another 'review' of health and social care services. Just how many does there need to be year on year? Nothing ever improves, it just gets even more diabolical with every passing year. As for the 'ageing population' please stop using this term, it is offensive. No matter what age a person is we are all entitled to receive health and social care, it is a fundamental principal of the National Health and Social Care system that we all bought in to from 1948 onwards. As an older person I have paid in to the system for over 50 years and I still contribute. The question really is why is it that the 'experts' cannot adequately plan in advance services that will be needed by all ages within society? Stop blaming the older people, it is untrue. The truth is that it is us older people who are the foundation of a system that everyone now enjoys and takes for granted. It is thanks to us why all in our Society have instant access to GP's and hospitals. I am shocked and bewildered by a UK society that has abandoned looking after older people within the community. It is a disgrace picking on not just older people but also the disabled and the most vulnerable within our society. In theory we are all allegedly equal and this includes access to all services that are written down in statutory legislation. This includes Social Care/Support for the frail, the vulnerable and the disabled. I am disgusted that Trust Managers are manipulating legislation to manage their budgets by targeting and with holding services to the most vulnerable in society. It is an absolute disgrace. If the shameful renewable heating incentive isn't bad enough, I don't think we have seen anything yet. The biggest ongoing scandal here in Northern Ireland is how Social Care/Support is being manipulated and withheld from so many, this is a recent occurrence, it has been going on for years. My question is - where has all of that money gone?


John Desmond Norris 20-Jan-2017 at 23:25 hrs

It is not always known what is on offer and by whom.
Where there is an elderly couple without available relatives and one has to go into Hospital in an emergency leaving the other alone who is frail and forgetful,what care or comfort can that person get at short notice?. The same question has also to be asked when there is some time between before one of them has to go into Hospital.


Norah Brown-Davis 20-Jan-2017 at 18:38 hrs

I can write about my experiences as a carer for my husband who is now in care with Alzheimer's, either on.line or on paper. I can go to meetings if I am free, but as I am now 70 and suffer from arthritis pain and fatigue, I have to pace myself. I have kept a diary and am completing writing a memoir at present.


PC 20-Jan-2017 at 16:45 hrs

Many things could be changed - stop making elderly people with physical brain diseases such as Alzheimer's pay for their own care.

- end the 15-minute home visits, which more often than not are insufficient.

- pay carers a decent wage. Give home-carers enough time to get from one house to the next.


Paul Turkington 20-Jan-2017 at 16:00 hrs

With diligence,support,and proper funding,I would love to see our NHS, and associated service,brought back to the former president it once set.
I would be greatful for any opportunity to improve the untenable and demoralising situation the staff face on a daily basis.
That would include, staff moral, feedback, support, and being liberated from the arduous chores of never ending written reports.
Let our nurses do the job they are trained to do...nurse!