Sorcha McGuinness is Chief Executive of the Huntingdon’s Disease Association Northern Ireland, which provides information, advice and support to patients and carers impacted by Huntington’s disease in Northern Ireland.
On Wednesday (29 March) we held our second – and largest - Membership event. In fact, we were overwhelmed with the response from members wishing to attend and filled the Great Hall at Belfast City Hall to capacity with 400 members from all across Northern Ireland.
All this week, the media has been giving special coverage on the experiences of disabled people in the workforce and as consumers. One interviewee said employers were “missing a trick” because people with a learning disability or disability are resilient, flexible and good at problem-solving because they have had to be. Hear what Gerard from the PCC has to say on this.
Tomorrow is World Cancer Day. It is a day when millions of people across the globe unite in the fight to combat the disease and raise vital funds for life-saving research. It is also a time when many people - like me - will reflect on the loss of a loved one to this disease.
New drugs are being developed all the time. The healthcare that we receive today has been transformed by these medications, with people living full lives with what were once debilitating and life-limiting conditions. What were once considered radical, pioneering treatments are now very much part of routine use.
Improvements in health, diet and preventative care means that people in Northern Ireland are living longer. This is good news. However, the care and support services that are intended to help people to live an independent, healthy, active and inclusive lifestyle need to be reformed in order to meet the future needs of an increasing ageing population.
I work in the Personal and Public Involvement Team coordinating the fieldwork for some of the Patient and Client Council’s projects. This year, one of my tasks was to find out what people think about the Mental Health Home Treatment Service.
The pace of change in how we live our lives has never been greater. Smartphones, as we now know them, only came on the market around the time the Patient and Client Council was established in 2009. Today, seven out of 10 of us now own one.
My job in the Patient and Client Council is to run our Complaints Support Service for people who want to make a complaint or raise a concern about health and social care services. Anyone can call our free helpline on 0800 917 0222 and talk to one of our team of six officers.