Today marks the launch of an €8.7million cross-border project designed to enable older people with long term conditions (LTCs) to take the steps needed to live well, safely and independently in their own homes. Of the €8.7 million, €3.5 million has been allocated to 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.
Funded by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, ‘mPower’ aims to empower patients to take control of their conditions at home by using technology, while simultaneously freeing up GPs and other healthcare professionals so that they can treat more people.
Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, joined public and third sector partners from Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland to announce the project launch at an event in Edinburgh today. Speaking ahead of the launch, she said: “This is an important project and it is particularly appropriate to announce it at an event that promotes cross-border collaboration.” She added: “The mPower initiative illustrates how people can interact with digital technology to support and manage their health and wellbeing and it is crucial we look to innovation as we design a health and social care system that is fit for the changing needs of a 21st century Scotland.”
mPower Project Manager Alan Connor said: “I’m delighted we have now launched the mPower project. Around 66% of people in Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland will have one or more long term conditions by the age of 65, so promoting self-care at home is an important step in alleviating the pressure the health service faces, while enabling people to better manage their conditions. It’s great to bring our partners together today and I think we’re all excited to see the difference mPower could make to the future of health care.”
Group from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland at the launch of the EU funded mPower cross border health project, which will be delivered in border areas of the HSE and the Southern and Western Health and Social Trusts are (seated / l to r): Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer, SEUPB; Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Scottish Government; Anne-Marie Gallacher, Chief Information Officer, NHS 24 and Kathleen McGuire, NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
Speaking at the official launch of the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB said: “I am delighted to be able to share in the launch of this novel cross-border project which will help thousands of older people across Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland live longer with more confidence in their own homes and communities.”
She added: “It also reflects larger scale EU health and social care policies in relation to the promotion of e-health based initiatives, by helping citizen’s manage their own health and well-being through the use of innovative technologies.”
From late 2017 to December 2021, mPower ‘Community Navigators’ will be employed to work with people referred from health and care services to develop wellbeing plans connecting them to activities in their community as well as to new technology to enhance support for health and wellbeing. Over the course of the project, mPower will support 2,500 people through the development of wellbeing plans, and 4,500 people through eHealth interventions.
mPower project locations in Ireland and Northern Ireland
Western Health and Social Care Trust: Lisnaskea
Southern Health and Social Care Trust: Newry / South Armagh
HSE: Finn Valley Primary Care Team, Donegal and Leitrim via the South Leitrim Primary Care Team. Dundalk with support to Carrickmacross/ Castleblayney
Notes to editors:
• For more information on the mPower project, visit http://mpowerhealth.eu
• The mPower partners are NHS 24, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, NHS Western Isles, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the University of the Highlands and Islands (Scotland); Health Service Executive (Ireland); Southern Health and Social Care Trust and Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland); and Co-operation and Working Together – a partnership between health and social care services in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
• 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 http://www.seupb.eu