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Small Islands, big ambitions: Manx delegation flies the flag for care model

Monday, 1 April 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care and Hospice Isle of Man are to play a leading role in a new international forum to promote integrated care systems in small island communities. 

The Isle of Man will be unveiled as one of three jurisdictions at the forefront of a Special Interest Group or SIG, at the 19th International Conference on Integrated Care in San Sebastian, Spain this week. Senior members of the team implementing the integrated care pilot in Peel and the west will be among a small delegation representing the DHSC at the event in Spain’s Basque region. 

The SIG is designed as a forum for small islands to learn from each other and share experience in creating successful and sustainable healthcare systems for their populations. The forum will connect three distinct groups:  

  • Island states with populations of up to 125,000 with high income economies
  • Islands, states or regions with a population up to 500,000
  • Developing small island states 

Deputy Chief Executive of DHSC Michaela Morris and Hospice Chief Executive Officer Anne Mills will be Isle of Man leads in the new venture, in partnership with colleagues from the International Foundation for Integrated Care Scotland and the Seychelles Ministry of Health. 

The Special Interest Group: Integrated Care in Small Island Systems welcomes input from all involved in planning and delivering integrated care in their communities, from researchers and students through practitioners and managers to policy makers and professional leaders. 

Over an intensive few days at the conference, delegates from around the world will immerse themselves in a programme of keynote talks, presentations, displays and visits.   

Although each system is unique in its context, put simply integrated care is a person-centred approach where an individual’s needs are met in a holistic way by bringing together resources and expertise within a community. This tailored approach aims to offer responsive and timely care as close to an individual’s home as possible, with a high priority on preventing ill health and promoting wellbeing. 

A full session at the conference has been awarded to the Manx delegation for the launch of the new forum by Michaela Morris the Island’s lead for integrated care and Angela Murray, Director of Community Care. The slot will include a presentation on the current western pilot project including an account of the extensive public engagement and liaison with dozens of local voluntary organisations which led to its launch earlier this year.  

Anne Mills is extensively involved in the international movement for integrated care – she leads the special interest group for Palliative and end of Life Care and co-leads another for Compassionate Communities. She is Director of the Scholl Academic Centre, a new research facility at the hospice which is studying how the integrated model can enhance end of life care. 

The Isle of Man will host a gathering of the Small Islands forum in September.

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