Health and Social Care

Helping People To Get Socially Connected

May 13, 2014 by No Comments | Category Uncategorized

new 7119-2

At the recent meeting of the British Irish Council in Belfast on 25 and 26 March 2014, Dr Anne Hendry, Joint Improvement Team and Arthur Fulton, Care for Older People’s Unit joined the group to discuss the on-going work relating to Social Inclusion. The meeting drew together delegates from across different parts of the British Isles to discuss and share developments in preventative care.

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Older People and the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People presented during the two days and highlighted the importance of social inclusion to preventative care. The Commissioner for Older People noted the positive contribution which older people make to our society, along with the importance of valuing an aging workforce and reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of law and social policy in relation to older people. Specific policies such as Free Travel, the Active Ageing Strategy and Adult Safeguarding were also discussed.

The group also visited the Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry, High Dependency Unit, where they were able to see the ‘tele-presence robot’ in action. This use of new technology, in the form of the tele-presence robot, is at the cutting edge of innovation and makes the best use of health resources to the benefit of patients. The tele-presence robot allows intensive care specialists from one hospital to remotely assess patients in another and enables doctors to examine and interact with patients in different locations. See the robot in action on YouTube.

The visit and the presentations highlighted the importance of social inclusion to preventative spend and showcased opportunities to socially connect the population.  It is evident that from the systems that are in place at the Daisy Hill Hospital, telehealth/care can reduce isolation and improve access to care/treatment.  It’s also a significant factor to reducing inappropriate hospital admissions.

A British Irish Council Ministerial meeting is planned for early in 2015 in Edinburgh and we will blog about this over the coming months.

For more information about the British Irish Council, the work that the Care for Older People’s Unit are doing around social inclusion or any of the details in this blog please contact:

Care for Older People’s Unit


Leave a comment