Building a Better Health Service


Health Services Excellence Award for Befriending Service

Award for Service Supporting Older People at Home   

The Support Coordination Service for Older Persons is a partnership project between the HSE National Social Care Division and the voluntary organisation ALONE. The project emerged as overall winner of the Health Service Excellence Awards at an event in Farmleigh yesterday.

Over 300 projects from all over the country entered the 2017 Health Service Excellence Awards, which is open to all staff working in the publicly funded health system. Eleven innovative projects got through to the final event. The awards highlight projects that deliver better services with easier access and higher quality care for patients.

About The Service

The service provides trained volunteers that promote independence, choice and well-being for older people by providing

  • a befriending and events service
  • benefit and entitlements activation
  • access to primary care services
  • support with applications and oversight of adaption grants
  • end of life planning
  • budgeting advice

So far, 489 older people have been supported through the project. The team have also developed a Management Information System (MIS) to enhance measuring and reporting.

The service aims to:

  • reduce hospital admission and support older people being discharged to return home
  • avoid nursing home admissions for older people with lower support needs
  • identify factors preventing an older person from living well at home and identify the practical, social resources and supports addressing these factors
  • link in with the community and primary care supports
  • coordinate multiple supports across state agencies, local community and private services
  • apply for grants and aids with for home modifications
  • combat loneliness and isolation through befriending and advocacy

The programme intends to create a cost effective, scalable, and transferable model by working with all services in the area and is trailing the roll out of assistive technology to produce needs-based outputs available in real time.