Huge funding award will boost support of our elderly

Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, right, with Deirdre McCloskey, Project Development Officer (MEAAP)
Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, right, with Deirdre McCloskey, Project Development Officer (MEAAP)

Mid & East Antrim’s First Citizen has personally welcomed an award of nearly £1 million to benefit older people in the borough.

Mayor Audrey Wales said news that Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) is to receive £998,145 from the Dunhill Medical Trust represents an excellent example of ‘Community Planning’ in action.

“This will fund a new programme of community-based care and support for older people,” Cllr Wales said.

“This award is part of the Dunhill Medical Trust’s £4 million Older People’s Care Improvement Initiative, initiated in 2013 for the frailest people in our society.

“Working together, MEAAP comprises not only Mid and East Antrim Borough Council but also the Northern Health and Social Care Trust; the Northern Local Commissioning Group; Primary Care and Community Together and the Antrim/Ballymena and Eastern Integrated Care Partnership Committees,” she said.

“That is just the kind of focus we are undertaking in our continuing work with a wide range of statutory partners and local communities to develop a shared vision for the area, to be published as the new Community Plan – due in April 2017,” Cllr Wales added.

The IMPACT (Involving Many to Prescribe Alternative Care Together) Programme will deliver a wide range of activities, services and support programmes to a minimum of 1,100 people aged 70 years and over in Mid and East Antrim, through up to 13,200 funded ‘alternative care prescriptions’. Through this mechanism of Community Partnership Agreements, the services of GP practices, community pharmacists and staff from a range of community-based organisations and public care services will be co-ordinated by local health and well-being hubs.

If successful, the partnership hopes to see the project replicated in other local authority areas, as well.