Finnish health officials visit Southern Trust

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Friday, February 26th, 2016
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The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has been sharing how they are helping more older people to live at home independently with a delegation of Senior Officials from the Finnish Health and Welfare Service. trust finnishThe officials travelled from North Karelia, an eastern external border region in Finland which, similar to the Southern Trust has a much higher older aged population than the national average. The projected growth in the Southern area’s over 65 population is 95% by 2037, compared to Northern Ireland’s 79% average. The Southern Trust’s Older People’s and Primary Care Team shared through its Strategic Plan ‘Improving Through Change’ how it has set out its direction for the care of older people in the area. Staff outlined the Reablement Programme which is helping clients to regain confidence and ability to live independently following illness or injury. They also shared their experience of the Acute Care at Home Service, the first consultant led model of its kind in Northern Ireland, which is offering hospital care to older people in their own house or nursing/residential home. Since it started in 2014, the service has prevented around 530 hospital admissions and has supported a much earlier discharge for about 140 people. Welcoming the Finnish delegates to the Southern Trust, Director of Older People and Primary Care Services, Angela McVeigh said, “In the Southern Trust we are committed to promoting a better quality of life for every patient and client. In our area, thankfully we have an increasing number of older patients living longer and some of these with more complex needs. She added, “We are delighted to share our experiences with our Finnish colleagues and welcomed the discussion on how they are approaching similar challenges.”

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