A four year, €5.01 million project for the development of a network of Locality Health and Well-being Hubs in the border regions of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and SW Scotland has been launched in Co. Antrim.
The CAWT Community Health Sync (CoH-Sync) secured the EU INTERREG VA funding for the cross-border project.
The community-based and locally run Hubs will support individuals and groups to become more active in improving their own health and wellbeing by making better use of existing resources and facilities in their local areas.
The CAWT Health and Social Care Partnership comprises the HSE, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the Western Health and Social Care Trust, the Public Health Agency and the Health and Social Care Board. NHS Dumfries and Galloway is also a CoH-Sync project partner.
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The CoH-Sync Project will encourage people living in disadvantaged areas and in more rural outlying areas to sign up to a health and well-being plan and receive support from a health facilitator.
The CoH-Sync project will focus on helping people to improve their health in the risk factor areas of physical activity, nutrition, smoking, alcohol consumption and mental health resilience. Such risk factors are known to be associated with the development of long term conditions or chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.
The CoH-Sync project will focus on helping people to improve their health in the risk factor areas of physical activity, nutrition, smoking, alcohol consumption and mental health resilience.
As part of the project there will be a total of three Locality Health and Well-being Hubs established in the border counties of the Republic of Ireland.
In the HSE area, Donegal Local Development Company successfully secured the tender to establish two Locality Health and Well-being Hubs, one in the Letterkenny/North Donegal area and the second Hub in the Ballyshannon/South Donegal area. Additionally Donegal Local Development Company in partnership with Monaghan Integrated Development won the tender to deliver a Locality Health and Well-being Hub in the Cavan / Monaghan area.
Commenting on the project and additional funding secured, John Hayes, Chief Officer, HSE Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1 said: “On behalf of CHO 1, I am delighted that the health services has been able to secure additional European Union funding to deliver these Locality Health and Well-being Hubs. Our aim is to ensure that, through a partnership approach, people will be provided with the information, support and skills within their own communities to enable them to achieve a healthier lifestyle,”
Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body said: “This project will empower citizens, on both sides of the border, to manage their own health and social care needs. In doing so it will deliver upon some of the key outputs of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme which is investing millions of euros in cross-border health projects that will positively transform the lives of tens of thousands of citizens and their families. I am delighted to see that the project includes early intervention health plans to help people take charge of their own physical well-being on a long-term basis.”
Director General of the CAWT Partnership, Damien McCallion, HSE said: “The CoH Sync project presents us with a fantastic opportunity for a cross sector, whole community approach to improving health and well-being and it fits in so well with current policy and practice for improving health and well-being and reducing the impact of chronic illnesses. On behalf of the CAWT Management Board, I wish the Project Board and appointed Hub providers every success with this initiative and look forward to hearing about progress as the project is rolled out.”
Match-funding for the project has been provided by both Departments of Health in Ireland and Northern Ireland with support from the Scottish Government.