Sláintecare Healthy Communities
In 2021, Sláintecare Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health, working with the HSE and local authorities and community agencies, launched the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme to provide increased health and wellbeing services in 19 community areas across Ireland.
An evidenced based process identified local areas in which health and wellbeing risk factors are particularly concentrated and where particular initiatives will be delivered to help promote and improve the overall health and wellbeing of people in those communities. These initiatives will be delivered through partnership working with a range of partners (HSE, local authorities and community groups) working together to provide dedicated services to build lasting improvements in health and wellbeing.
Where are the Communities?
The initial focus will be on 19 areas, based across the country which may provide a basis on which to roll out similar approaches in other areas. Click here to view area map
What does it mean for the Communities?
To ensure the local communities selected have access to the full enhanced health and wellbeing programme, a core group of services will be established in each area to support people’s wellbeing within that community, providing better access to the range of services needed to help improve and promote healthier lifestyle behaviours.
These initiatives include;
- Stop Smoking Advisor - To help people quit smoking, a Stop Smoking Advisor will provide 1-1 support to smokers within the community with quit attempts, including the provision of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (Stop Smoking medication) and support smoke free environments. For more on HSE Quit services go to quit.ie
- QUIT smoking services - These will be available through 1-1 support from a dedicated Stop Smoking Advisor and We Can Quit groups. We Can Quit is a friendly and supportive 12-week programme, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy and other stop smoking medication to help people quit smoking and stay quit for good.
- Parenting Programmes - To support the mental health of parents and healthy child development, Parenting Programmes will provide families access to evidence based parenting programmes for vulnerable families. Either the Triple P or the Parents Plus parenting programmes will be delivered in the 19 Healthy Community areas. For more information about pregnancy, baby and toddler health visit Mychild.ie. Tusla are a key partner in the development of this element of the programme and their website resource on parenting can be accessed here tusla.ie
- Healthy Food Made Easy - To support and inform a healthier diet, the Healthy Food Made Easy (HFME) programme will provide their nutrition and cookery course that helps people to change to a healthy diet, plan meals on a budget and make easy to cook meals. See the contact list below for details on how to book into a HFME programme. For more on healthy eating go to hse.ie/healthy-eating
- Social Prescribing - To improve mental health and wellbeing, a Social Prescribing link worker will work with individuals who need support, linking them into community activities and services. To find social prescribing in your area go to www.allirelandsocialprescribing.ie/
Read more on social prescribing go to hse.ie/social-prescribing
- Making Every Contact Count - To encourage and support more people to make healthier choices, the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) programme will work with local health professionals to ensure they have the capability to deliver brief interventions and advice for all patients regarding healthy behaviours (smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, mental wellbeing, diet and nutrition). If you are working in healthcare and wish to find out more go to: hse.ie/making-every-contact-count
New interagency supports for health and wellbeing:
Healthy Community Local Development Officers
Each of the respective local authorities will coordinate and support the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme with the Local Community Development Committees and their existing Healthy City and Healthy County plans as well as recruiting Healthy Community Local Development Officers to coordinate activity from a local authority perspective. This increase in resource for local authorities is aimed at integrating the health and wellbeing agenda with their broader agenda and supporting a social determinants approach to health inequalities.
Community Food & Nutrition Worker with a remit to build capacity, knowledge and skills across communities and to work with local statutory and voluntary partners to improve the food environment and address food poverty, and activate agreed national campaigns. These workers will be funded by HSE Health and Wellbeing and employed by community organisations.
These programmes will be supported by a HSE Healthy Communities Coordinator and Admin Support in each CHO.
HSE Integrated Alcohol Services
Under Sláintecare Healthy Communities, new Integrated Alcohol Services are also being rolled out in community settings to provide support for people with harmful alcohol use and their families. The community-based team will consist of four counsellors, a Nurse, and a Project Worker. In 2021, services will commence in Cork and Limerick and more services will be rolled out across the country in the coming years. The services will work closely with Alcohol Liaison Nurses in hospitals so that there is a joined up approach to service delivery across community and hospital settings.
Sláintecare Healthy Communities Areas 2021
To find out more contact your local Health Promotion and Improvement Office here:
CHO 1 Donegal, Sligo/ Leitrim/ West Cavan, Cavan/ Monaghan
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: Cavan Town and County, Gaeltacht (Donegal), Inishowen (Donegal)
CHO 2 Galway, Roscommon, Mayo
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: West Mayo (Mayo)
CHO 3 Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary/ East Limerick
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: Limerick City (Limerick),
CHO 4 Kerry, North Cork, North Lee, South Lee, West Cork
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: SHC sites: North Cork City (Cork)
CHO 5 South Tipperary, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: Enniscorthy & Wexford Town (Wexford), Waterford City (Waterford), Clonmel (South Tipperary)
CHO 6 Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin South East
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: Bray (Wicklow)
CHO 7 Kildare/ West Wicklow, Dublin West, Dublin South City, Dublin South West
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: Athy (Kildare), Cherry Orchard (Dublin), Clondalkin (Dublin), Tallaght (Dublin)
CHO 8 Laois/ Offaly, Longford/ Westmeath, Louth/ Meath
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: Athlone & Mullingar (Westmeath), Longford Town (Longford)
CHO 9 Dublin North, Dublin North Central, Dublin North West
Sláintecare Healthy Communities: Ballymun (Dublin), Finglas & Cabra (Dublin), Kilmore & Priorswood (Dublin)