Five-year plan aims to improve people’s health in Cork and Kerry

Five-year plan aims to improve people’s health in Cork and Kerry
Clare Hayden Meitheal Mara, Dr Sheelagh Broderick, Judy Cronin HSE, Priscilla Lynch and Dr Stephanie O'Keeffe pictured at The Cork Kerry Community Healthcare launch of COMPASS Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan 2018 – 2022, Shaky Bridge, Cork City Photography by Gerard McCarthy.

A FIVE-YEAR plan to improve the general health of people in Cork and Kerry has been published.

The document includes more than 180 detailed actions to improve the health and wellbeing.

The plan is called Compass as it points to ways for wellbeing for the entire population of more than 690,000 people across the South West.

Healthy eating, drugs and alcohol, smoking, self-management, disability and sexual health are just some of the items addressed in the plan.

The document was produced by Healthy Ireland. Each of the nine Community Healthcare Organisations in the country will publish a Healthy Ireland implementation plan, and the Cork Kerry Community Healthcare plan is the first of those plans to be published.

As described by Director General of the HSE Tony O’Brien, Healthy Ireland places a responsibility on each person to be aware of why change is needed and be prepared to do things differently.

Events took place in Cork and Kerry on Friday to mark the launch of the Compass plan.

At Fitzgerald’s Park, the rowing group Meitheal Mara and participants from the National Learning Centre Midleton were among the community groups present. 

Meitheal Mara use currach-building and rowing as a social inclusion measure. The currachs are based on a typical currach style boat constructed from hazel rods and oak lathes tied together with tarred twine and were built by men involved in the HSE City Links community mental health programme. 

Meitheal Mara partners with Healthy Ireland through the Cork City Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), extending maritime culture to groups such as Ashbourne House, Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre and Mayfield Neighbourhood Youth Project.

Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Ger Reaney said the document sets out a clear plan for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare to assist and encourage every person across two counties to leave healthier lives.

He thanked the staff who took part in 16 consultation meetings which fed into the plan. “Valuing and developing our staff sends a clear message on what a healthy workforces looks like and also enables them to continue to improve the quality of care we provide,” he said.

Head of Health and Wellbeing with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Priscilla Lynch said: “This plan will be responsive to local needs by putting in place the infrastructure to develop annual health and wellbeing actions addressing priorities at a local level."

"Together we can bring about the necessary changes to make the future envisaged in COMPASS a reality and achieve even better health outcomes for everyone in Cork and Kerry.”

Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, HSE National Director, Strategic Planning and Transformation said: “We know there is a need for an increasing emphasis on prevention, early detection and self-management of chronic diseases in health care. In their Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan colleagues in Cork Kerry Community Healthcare are recognising the importance of this agenda in developing and delivering a more sustainable health service into the future and improving the health and wellbeing of the people in communities across Cork and Kerry. ”

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