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Impact within North East Inner City of ‘Sláintecare Healthy Communities Project’

 A man and a woman standing outside a house with three children, who are wearing santa hats and reindeer antlers.

“The success of any Sláintecare Healthy Communities Project is dependent on the level of trust and engagement between the community and the agencies that seek to provide services,” according to Mellany McLoone, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare Organisation, Dublin North City and County, speaking at the recent launch of a project report.

The community of the North Inner City have fully embraced the opportunities the Healthy Communities Project offers and the success is largely attributed to them. Our HSE Community Healthcare Organisation staff teams continue to remind me how privileged we are to learn from and work with our community partner colleagues to improve the overall health and wellbeing of this community.  Where local communities are leading the integration, the value of the partnership is evident for all to see.”

Launching the ‘North East Inner City (NEIC) Sláintecare Healthy Communities Project: Impact Evaluation Report,’ Minister Hildegarde Naughton said it “demonstrates the success of the Healthy Communities Project in the North East Inner City (NEIC) as part of the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Project, a cross government initiative to deliver increased health and wellbeing services in 20 areas of greatest need across Ireland.”

The report features many case studies illustrating its impact, including one participant, diagnosed with cancer, who explained that they were “close to shutting the door cause I was so hurt. They did more for me than anything. The staff member gave me inspiration to come back to life. Small steps maybe. It’s done me a world of good. To even know that they care for me. They rang me, texted me, listened to me. There are things out there to help. They put me on to little things - opened doors for me. Cause I didn’t have the mind to.”

The Minister continued: “Increasing health equity is a priority for my Department and we are making a significant investment in this via the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme."

"This evaluation shows that by investing in communities and ensuring that the community voices are at the centre of this investment, we can achieve significant change. Improving community health requires collaborative, intersectoral work and community capacity building. It is very evident from this report that the collective efforts of the dedicated Healthy Communities team, working in collaboration with partners across the community, HSE staff, and the local authority are addressing health inequalities in the North East Inner City area.” 

Noel Wardick, Chief Executive Officer, Dublin City Community Co-Op added that “the Healthy Communities Project in the NEIC is proof that targeted and sustained investment, combined with passionate staff and a genuine multi-agency partnership approach, bears fruit and transforms lives. The challenges in the NEIC may run deep but so too do the resilience, determination and humanity of its residents”.

The NEIC Sláintecare Healthy Communities Project supports wellbeing by providing better access to a range of services that improve and promote healthier lifestyle behaviours, including social prescribing - a non-medical approach to improving an individual’s mental health and wellbeing. The Social Prescribing Link Worker supports individuals by connecting them to a range of local voluntary and community services.

The Quit smoking services support people to quit smoking, by providing one-to-one support with a trained Stop Smoking Advisor or as part of a group with the We Can Quit Programme.  A Healthy Food Made Easy Programme –a 6-week peer-led nutrition and cookery course focusing on preparing budget friendly, quick, simple meals while building knowledge and healthier habits – is also available.

The NEIC Sláintecare ‘Healthy Communities Project: Impact Evaluation Report’ is the successful culmination of close collaboration between many partners. These partners include the Department of Health, the HSE, Dublin City Community Co-Op, the NEIC Programme Board and the Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC) who were commissioned to develop the report.