Hamilton launches consultation on innovation scheme for voluntary & community sector

Date published: 07 March 2016


Health Minister, Simon Hamilton, today launched a consultation on a new Health and Social Care (HSC) Innovation Scheme.

Minister SImon Hamilton
Minister SImon Hamilton

The purpose of the new revenue grant scheme is to support the development of innovative approaches to improving health and social care (HSC) outcomes. It will be open to all voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations operating in the health and social care sector. Once fully implemented, it is anticipated that around £4.5million will be available annually.

Speaking during a visit to the Peninsula Healthy Living Centre, the Minister said: “I am delighted to launch this public consultation on the Health and Social Care Innovation Scheme. This scheme will seek to utilise the unique skills and experience of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in order to support real innovation across all areas of health and social care.

“Projects funded through the scheme will be those that explore innovative solutions to achieve better outcomes within health and social care. The promotion of sustainable business models and sharing of best practice are key elements of the proposals. I want to see projects that establish new standards for the delivery of HSC services in Northern Ireland.”

Peninsula Health Living Partnership, based in Kircubbin, is engaged in a number of initiatives with a particular emphasis on activities that support physical activity, good nutritional health and personal development. Services provided include youth groups and community projects, as well as a gym offering a wide range of facilities and fitness classes, including tailored 12 week programmes for people with specific health conditions.

The Minister continued: “It is apt that the scheme is being launched at the Peninsula Healthy Living Centre, which demonstrates perfectly how innovative approaches to health and social care can engage and benefit, and indeed transform, whole communities. It is my intention that the Innovation Scheme will stimulate innovative approaches to overcome some of the significant challenges facing health and social care.”

The consultation will run for a period of 12 weeks.

Notes to editors: 

  1. On 25 June 2015, the Minister announced the development of a new Innovation Scheme that would place an emphasis on innovation.
  2. The proposals within the consultation have been developed by a Design Team, comprising of representatives from the VCSE sector, DETI, Big Lottery, representatives from the wider HSC sector as well as the DHSSPS. Five pre-consultation workshops, attended by around 200 people, were held in October and November 2015.
  3. The consultation will run until the 3 June 2016. Further information on the consultation can be found on the DHSSPS website.
  4. Peninsula Health Living Partnership Limited was established as a not for profit Company Limited by Guarantee. Headed by Dr Jenny Gingles and Sheila Bailie, the company has a voluntary board of Directors and sub-groups who are responsible for overseeing the operation of the Healthy Living Partnership. The partnership currently has six core staff, three of which three posts are funded by PHA until March 2018. The centre makes use of casual staff and volunteers in order to deliver particular programmes and services as required.
  5. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0074, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5540 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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