Western Trust Pathfinder preparing for period of action

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FOLLOWING ONE of the most comprehensive Community Engagement processes ever undertaken for health and Social Care, the Western Trust Pathfinder process is now entering a phase of action.  The #PathfinderWest engagement journey was launched going into October 2018 and 79 engagement events over a 20 week period, attended by over 2,200 people, at community venues throughout the region brought very intimate, honest and frank discussions.  The latest event saw an additional 180 key stakeholders attend a regional Pathfinder Health Summit and many of the findings from that engagement were presented along with population health data.


Some significant topics arose consistently during the engagement phase of Pathfinder:

* There are gaps in fundamental services, particular Domiciliary Car

* Some communities are more community orientated and resilient than others

* There are growing workforce challenges in key staff groups

* The Western Trust needs to build a model that moves a system centred around  hospitals to a system focused on community strengths

* Hospital and Community services are fragmented and not well connected and a need to refine ‘Pathways’ to achieve a greater synergy of services

* Greater cohesion required between Health and other Agencies – particularly with Road Services,Rural Transport,Broadband and Education

* Concern around the resilience of Primary Care services

* Important to build links with the Education sector through Post Primary Schools, 2nd Level Colleges, Universities, Learning Communities  and going back to the basic promotional element of     delivering important positive messages to our younger people   in Primary schools.

Deputy chief executive of the Western Trust, Kieran Downey, commented, “It is now time to turn the TALK into ACTION. In the first phase, through incorporating the vitally important involvement ethos, we had wide ranging and highly engaging discussions all across the Pathfinder region and beyond. While the talking and engagement will always continue, we are now entering the second phase of action and co-production will be very much to the fore again in our planning as we have appointed service users to help  influence this next phase.”  In talking about the importance of community links, Kieran commented “In our communities we heard of the impact of poverty and rural isolation and the impact loneliness has on our citizens.

PathfinderWest will turn its immediate attention to support ‘Connecting Communities’ as a concept; to build solid connections that will ensure we maximise all of the resources available to generate an underpinning ethos of compassionate care for each other.”  The Pathfinder Governance structure has been approved and is now public on the Trust’s online hub This will be utilised now to bring together all the key stakeholders who can help influence, develop and implement the changes needed.  The next stage of the Pathfinder project is underway as the Western Trust will work closely with Service Users, Western Trust staff, the various influential stakeholders, agency partners and, through the work stream groups, will develop a strategy which will strive to create improved Health and Social Services for all of Fermanagh and West Tyrone.

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