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07/12/2017

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Human Rights in Health and Social Care

Human Rights apply to everyone. Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December and Sandra Rafferty, from the Equality Unit, Business Service Organisation, explains what Human Rights are all about and what they mean within Health and Social Care services here in Northern Ireland.

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30/11/2017

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#LetsEndIt - End isolation, End stigma, End HIV transmission

Martin is a 56 year old Belfast man with a career spanning 36 years in public administration and 20 years volunteer experience with various charities. In 2010, following an admission to hospital with an unrelated infection, Martin was diagnosed with HIV. After a short stay in hospital and successful treatment of the parasitic infection he was discharged to begin attending the GUM clinic as a HIV out-patient. Here, Martin shares his thoughts and some of the key facts about HIV.

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23/11/2017

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What’s stopping you appointing a Patient Director? An open letter to all healthcare organisations

David Gilbert is a former mental health service user and has 25 years’ experience of working in patient and public engagement at local, national and international level. He was co-founder and a director of the Centre for Patient Leadership and the NHS Centre for Involvement. He is currently Patient Director at Sussex MSK Partnership. Here is an open letter David has written to Trusts in England, to encourage them to think about appointing a Patient Director to their management teams.

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16/11/2017

9 Comments

Your AHPs need you – help shape the future of the Allied Health Professions in Northern Ireland

Hazel Winning is an Occupational Therapist who now works at the Department of Health as their Allied Health Professions (AHP) Lead. Allied Health Professions cover a wide range of treatments, therapies and services. Hazel explains why your contribution is essential as the Department of Health draws up plans to ensure there are enough staff to deliver Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy services for patients and clients.

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09/11/2017

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How the Shared Lives Scheme is helping people enjoy life together

Shared Lives Schemes have been running in Northern Ireland for more than 20 years. They were formally known as adult placement schemes and provide care for adults in approved family homes as an alternative to institutional care. In Northern Ireland, Shared Lives Schemes currently focus exclusively on supporting adults with a learning disability. Stephanie and Martin Kenny from Belfast are long-standing Shared Lives carers who provide care for Ann.

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02/11/2017

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Ask your pharmacist about a Medicines Use Review

With winter just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to make sure your medicines are working to keep you well, particularly if you are living with conditions such as asthma or COPD. Community Pharmacist, Kerry Grimes explains more.

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26/10/2017

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Caring for my mum – A new kind of management role for me

Ali Raza, graduate of Health & Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) General Management Training Scheme (GMTS) shares his experience of caring for his mother after a knee operation, and how this experience has complimented his day job, as a NHS manager.

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20/10/2017

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Immediate and sustainable solutions must be found for hospital waiting lists

Northern Ireland’s hospital waiting list performance is the worst in the UK - with targets for cancer, A&E and planned operations not being met.

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13/10/2017

5 Comments

Keeping NHS Titanic afloat

Prof Cooper has been both Chair and President of his professional body, The Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology, and is the first President of the Academy for Healthcare Science. He works hard to promote ‘One Voice’ for all healthcare scientists by working with healthcare science professional bodies and Royal Colleges and, externally, with ministers for health, chief scientific officers and other healthcare organisations.  

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06/10/2017

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‘Dear You’ - The Recovery Letters

James Withey is a trained counsellor who worked in social care for 20 years. In 2011, James was diagnosed with clinical depression, attempted suicide and spent time in psychiatric hospital and crisis services. The Recovery Letters was originally a blog project conceived by James, where readers were encouraged to share their own stories of depression and their journeys towards recovery. The letters come from all over the world and detail the many different forms that depression can take.  

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29/09/2017

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How healthcare services are costing the earth

Dr Daniel Maughan is a consultant psychiatrist working for the Early Intervention Service at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. He is also the Associate Registrar for Sustainability at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, where he heads up a programme of work looking to improve the sustainability of mental health services. He has published widely on the impacts of climate change on mental health, as well as how to best estimate the carbon footprint of health care.

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22/09/2017

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New passport designed to ease the journey in hospital

In May this year, the Public Health Agency, in partnership with the Regional General Hospital Forum for Learning Disabilities, Health and Social Care Trusts, people with a learning disability and their carers, launched a Hospital Passport for people with a learning disability. It’s designed to enable the patient to be independent and as involved as possible in any decisions about their care while in hospital. Gerard McWilliams visited two hospitals to see how the passport is being received by staff.

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15/09/2017

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Tommy’s quest to raise awareness of dementia

For years, Tommy Whitelaw travelled the world running merchandising operations for U2, Kylie Minogue and the Spice Girls. But it all came to an end when Tommy became a full-time carer for his mum, Joan, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Sadly, Joan passed away in September 2012 and, since then, Tommy has travelled all over the UK on an awareness-raising campaign. On Wednesday, he was in Belfast speaking at the Caring for the Carers workshop hosted by the Patient and Client Council and the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care.

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08/09/2017

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Caring for someone at the end of their life

As part of Palliative Care Week 2017 we have published our End of Life Care report, which outlines some key issues in relation to end of life care experiences. Care at the end of life is a significant and important element of all care and the evidence in this report describes how the care received at this time can have a significant impact on patients and their families.

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31/08/2017

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The tender care that made Matilda’s life more lovely

Claire Gray is a speech and language therapy assistant working with children with special needs. She lives in Newtownards, Co Down, with husband Kris and their two-and-a-half-year-old son. She is also mum to Matilda who was born in 2013 with a serious genetic condition and died just three months later. As part of Palliative Care Week 2017, which runs from 03-09 September, Claire talks about her daughter’s tragically short, yet immensely full life.

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25/08/2017

4 Comments

Removing the stigma of sexual health issues

It goes without saying that sex is a fundamental part of healthy relationships and life. As a society we are becoming more comfortable about talking about sex, about issues of consent and about how to look after our sexual health. However, there is still some work to be done.

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18/08/2017

3 Comments

I was told nothing was wrong even though I was having daily seizures

Amy Speers is 32 years old and lives in Bangor. For the past seven years, she has been having non-epileptic seizures, which can be difficult to diagnose and sometimes confused with epilepsy. Amy has since created a Facebook page and has written blogs to raise awareness of the condition.

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11/08/2017

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The appliance of science

Fans of the original Star Trek sci-fi series will recall Dr Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy using a handheld scanning device to instantly diagnose medical conditions. Back in the 1960s, the Medical Tricorder was simply the stuff of fantasy. Today, similar technology is a reality and its development is happening right on our doorstep, led by Professor James McLaughlin OBE. Ulster University lecturer, Dr Philip Catherwood, who heads up the Internet of Medical Things team seeking next-generation patient-centric healthcare solutions, tells us about some recent developments.

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04/08/2017

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One of our top priorities should be care for the elderly

There is a real need to have a clear plan about how we provide social care in Northern Ireland in the future, particularly for our elderly. Growing concern among members of the public about the ability of our Health and Social Care Trusts to provide adequate care for older people was reflected in our latest People’s Priorities report.

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28/07/2017

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How understanding friends helped me get my life back

The Patient and Client Council recently hosted a Healthy Minds workshop in Belfast. More than 150 people attended the day-long event, which included people with a learning disability, carers and healthcare professionals. The aim of the workshop was to give people with a learning disability an opportunity to share their experiences of mental health problems or illness. Service-user Jean Hale talked about coping with depression.

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