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Re-appointment of the Chair of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority

Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey has re-appointed Dr Ian Carson as Chair of the Health and Social Care Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) for a further four-year term.<

The re-appointment takes effect from 1 June 2010.

Notes to editors:

1. The Health and Social Care Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is the independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, and encouraging improvements in the quality of those services. Their role is to ensure that health and social care services in Northern Ireland are accessible, well managed and meet the required standards, RQIA work to ensure there is openness, clarity and accountability in the management and delivery of all these services.

2. The board of the RQIA consists of a non-executive Chair and 12 non-executive members.

3. The Chair of RQIA receives annual remuneration of £17,684.

4. The appointment was made with the approval of the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. There are no specific qualifications for appointment.

5. The appointment was made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointment for Northern Ireland.

6. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. Dr Carson declared that he had not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

7. Dr Ian Carson, MB BCH BAO; MD, FFARCSI, lives in Belfast. Until his retirement, Dr Carson had been Deputy Chief Medical Officer, DHSSPS, from 2002 to 30 April 2006. Prior to this, he was Consultant Anaesthetist to the Cardiac Surgical Unit, Royal Victoria Hospitals since 1975 and Trust Medical Director at the Royal Group of Hospitals & Dental Hospital HSS Trust from 1993 to 2002. Dr Carson was initially appointed as Chair of the RQIA from 1 June 2006 to 31 May 2010. Dr Carson brings experience and knowledge of quality and safety matters in health and social care. He has developed and maintained effective working relationships with key stakeholders locally and with comparable organisations in the UK and Ireland. He has strong leadership skills and with a new Corporate Strategy in place has positioned RQIA as an effective health and social care regulator. Dr Carson holds no other public appointments and has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/news-dhssps/news-dhssps-19052010-...<

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kevin
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A major initiative aimed at helping the most vulnerable households in rural areas has been launched by Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew and Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.<

Maximising Access to and Uptake of Grants, Benefits and Services is a joint initiative between the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the Public Health Agency (PHA). It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people in rural areas who are living in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

Based on a partnership model, government will work with various agencies, as well as members of the advice sector and the community and voluntary sector to encourage uptake of grants, benefits and services which people may not otherwise have known about or had the means to apply for, or avail of. As part of the initiative, 4,200 households in the most deprived rural areas will receive information and support in their own homes. Rural community organisations have been enlisted to co-ordinate the project in specified areas and 240 members of the local community are currently being recruited and trained as ‘enablers’ to undertake the home visits which will commence in early July.

Speaking at the project launch in Loughgiel, Michelle Gildernew said: "Poverty and exclusion in rural areas is often dispersed and hidden and seeking out the most needy members of our society can prove challenging.

"Evidence and experience indicate that access to the most difficult to reach and those suffering greatest inequalities and disadvantage requires a more innovative, extensive and personal approach to that traditionally used. That is what makes the local knowledge of community networks and groups crucial in the delivery of this initiative.

"Through their involvement as 'enablers' they have a key role to play in assisting the rural community organisations in identifying the most vulnerable households and in connecting them not only to the finances and benefits to which they are entitled, but also to advice and services that may also be beneficial to them. Evidence affirms that a holistic approach, such as this, can have a positive impact on health and well being by enabling people to play a more active role in local community life and in making connections with the wider community.”

Michael McGimpsey said: "Most people do not choose ill health and we continue to have a health gap between affluent areas and those living in deprived areas. Poor quality housing, unemployment and being cut off by poor public transport links become barriers to achievement, personal fulfilment and social inclusion.

“Local community projects such as this one become a vital lifeline to help improve the lives of many people living in poverty in rural Northern Ireland. I remain committed to addressing the health and well-being needs of people from rural areas to help bridge this gap, and I commend all those involved in bringing this about."

Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency, highlighted the importance of joint working and community action to effectively address the health needs of those living within rural localities.

He said: “A key focus for the Public Health Agency is to tackle health inequalities and to improve the health and social well being of the people in Northern Ireland, including those living within rurally isolated communities.

“This project is part of the Public Health Agency’s ongoing commitment to engage with local communities across Northern Ireland to improve health and tackle disadvantage. Through continued collaboration with key partners from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors we feel we can positively impact on the health and well being of those most in need.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Thirteen zones, incorporating the top 88 most deprived rural super output areas, will benefit from this initiative.
  2. Rural Community Organisations appointed to co-ordinate the project in each of these zones are: North Antrim Community Network; Cookstown and Western Shores Community Network; East Down Rural Community Network; Soth Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP); South Down Family Health Initiaitive; Strabane Rural Community Network; Dennett Interchange; Omagh Forum for Rural associations; and Fermanagh Rural Community Network.
  3. Project partners include DARD, DSD (Social Security Agency & Housing Division – Fuel Poverty), PHA, Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) Access to Benefits (A2B), National Energy Action (NEA) Northern Ireland Energy Agency (NIEA), Advice NI, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and numerous Rural Community Organisations.
  4. Programme for Government has made a commitment to address rural poverty and social exclusion and has allocated DARD a £10.4million package to address these issues over the budget years 08/09 – 10/11.
  5. Information regarding other programmes currently being funded through DARD’s Anti Poverty and Social Inclusion Framework such as Rural Childcare and Rural Challenge Programmes is available on the Departments website.
  6. All media enquiries should be directed to the DARD Press Office on 028 9052 4619. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/news-dard/news-dard-010710-gilder...<

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kevin
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‘Domiciliary Care Module- Continuous Household Survey 2008/09’ - Northern Ireland

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has today published the ‘Domiciliary Care Module - Continuous Household Survey 2008/09’<

Key Facts and Figures:

Of the 4,009 respondents to the survey, 532 (13%) stated that they had difficulty carrying out one or more of the activities shown. Of those respondents who reported having difficulty, 51% had difficulty with 2 or less of the activities. Just over half of those with difficulties (56%) were over 65 years old. 61% of respondents reported difficulty with getting up and down stairs / steps, 61% doing housework and 55% doing the household shopping. 76% of respondents said that they have a friend(s), relative(s) or neighbour(s) helping them carry out one or more of the activities. 15% of respondents indicated that a home help / care worker had visited their home in the last year. Of those receiving home care, over four fifths (83%) said that some or all of their care was provided by social services. Of those who had at one time received home care but do not currently, the most popular reason for stopping was that the respondent felt that they no longer required home care (22%). Almost nine in ten respondents (87%) rated the care they received from their home help/ care worker as very good (44%) or good (43%) 12% of respondents had heard of direct payments. Of those, 32% were using this method to pay for their care.

Notes to Editors:

1. This information was collected via the Continuous Household Survey (CHS) 2008/09.

2. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) commissioned a module of questions in the CHS on domiciliary care with a view to collecting information on people who said they needed help with certain everyday activities. They were then asked whether they received help with these activities from a friend(s), relative(s) or neighbour(s) or from a home help/ care worker. This survey was also used to find out the views of any current home care service users about the service they receive and their own particular circumstances.

3. This publication is available online<.

http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/news-dhssps-28072010-publication-...<

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A high-tech scheme which will enable patients to manage chronic conditions at home is being implemented across Northern Ireland.

Remote telemonitoring< is to cover 3,500 patients across Northern Ireland each year for the next six years.

About 75 per cent of people aged over 75 in Northern Ireland are affected by a chronic disease while 69 per cent of health and social care spending is related to chronic disease.

http://web2.bma.org.uk/nrezine.nsf/wd/BSKN-8PJGCS?OpenDocument&C=17+Dece...<

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