New undergraduate curriculum for future healthcare professionals to support patients in self-management of long-term health conditions

HSE Press Release: Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Today (Tuesday, 4th February 2020) a new third-level curriculum focussing on self-management support for chronic conditions was officially launched by Laura Magahy, Executive Director, Sláintecare.

This is part two of the National Undergraduate Curriculum for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, a collaboration between 15 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the HSE following on from the launch in 2018 of Making Every Contact Count (MECC) for Health Behaviour Change, the first part of the initiative

Undergraduate and graduate entry healthcare programmes for Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry and all Allied Health professions will now have core teaching on chronic disease prevention and self-management support integrated into their curricula.

The Curriculum emphasises the key role that healthcare professionals have in empowering and supporting patients to play an active role in the management of their health conditions. It is designed to ensure that all future healthcare professionals understand the importance of chronic disease prevention and self-management support and are equipped to deliver health services that lead to improved quality of care and better patient experiences and outcomes.

One million people in Ireland live with a long-term respiratory or heart disease, or diabetes. Supporting patients and service users to self-manage means helping them to develop the skills and confidence to take the best actions for their health and, working in partnership with healthcare professionals, this has the potential to improve patient’s health and quality of life, as well as reducing the need for hospital admissions.

Launching the Curriculum, Laura Magahy, Executive Director, Sláintecare said: “This is another positive step forward in implementing the government's Sláintecare policy relating to integrated care and person-centred services. There are a number of initiatives which have been identified as part of the implementation of Sláintecare relating to self-management support. It is vitally important that people are supported in taking ownership of their own health. This new Curriculum will equip healthcare professionals with the skills to sensitively and skilfully help people to manage their long-term conditions effectively, keeping them well in their own homes for longer.”

Dr Orlaith O’Reilly, HSE, National Clinical Advisor and Programme Group Lead for Health & Wellbeing said: “Development and implementation of this Curriculum puts a firm focus on chronic disease self-management support as a core healthcare deliverable. Helping people to live well with chronic conditions is a key part of sustainable health services. Providing support to self-manage empowers patients to be active partners in their healthcare and is now regarded as inseparable from high-quality care for people with long-term conditions.”

Professor Eileen Savage, Chair of the HSE/HEI National Working Group said: “An exciting feature of this national Curriculum is that it has brought educationalists and policy makers together with a shared goal for better healthcare in the management of chronic disease. Through this partnership we will ensure that a critical mass of graduates will enter the workforce equipped with the necessary skills to work in partnership with individuals and families in the self-management of their chronic conditions.”

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Last updated on: 04 / 02 / 2020