Trust Reaches Out to Local Community at Health and Care Partnership Forum

25th November 2022

The South Eastern Trust was delighted to attend the first face-to-face meeting of the Down Health and Care Partnership Forum, which was held in the Great Hall of the Downshire Hospital on Thursday night.

Two important objectives of this forum are to plan for the future in partnership with everyone who uses our health and care services in the Down area and work together to improve the health and wellbeing of the community we serve.

The Forum wants to consider local population health and social care needs, to support people to lead healthier lives, to take action to reduce health inequalities and ultimately to improve how services are delivered.

Chief Executive Roisin Coulter told the meeting, which was attended by service users, local politicians, carers, community representatives and other key partners, that over 80% of the huge range of services the Trust provides in the area, take place in the community, outside the Downe Hospital.

Roisin Coulter emphasised, “We in the Trust are committed to working collaboratively with the local community regarding existing health and social care services and to plan and design for the future. Working in partnership with a wide range of key stakeholders will be vital to the forum’s success. I think the voice of this Forum, particularly the voice of young people, will have influence and be heard.”

During the lively and informative discussion, where the focus was very much on the community, a number of issues were considered including the unprecedented challenges the Trust is facing, particularly in relation to the availability of workforce in social care, the significant growth in demand for services and the increase in the number of children in care. It was widely acknowledged that transformation is essential while we rebuild, reshape and refocus after the pandemic. It was also agreed that it is vital that young people are encouraged to engage with the Forum at future meetings and innovative ways should be explored in order to gauge opinions in the community about health issues.

Roisin Coulter stressed, “The Trust is committed to working with you to plan, influence and shape safe, sustainable services for our local population into the future.”

The Forum hopes to meet again early in the New Year.