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Working together to tackle health inequalities in Lisburn

6th December 2021
graphic of set of scales being held by a hand

Lisburn Integrated Care Partnership has been working in collaboration with a wide range of partners ( Lisburn and Castlereagh Council,  the Resurgam Trust,  the Community Development Health Network and the South Eastern Local Commissioning Group) to understand the role they can play in helping to understand and take action to address the impact of health inequalities for people living in Lisburn.

The Covid pandemic has shone a spotlight on inequality, disproportionally impacting on those living with inequalities while also moving more people into poverty and disadvantage.

However, it has also created an opportunity and impetus for communities, organisations and decision makers to come together to reflect, to listen and to change.

During two online discussions last autumn there was huge commitment to this work from a broad range of public sector and community and voluntary sector agencies, including representatives from Lisburn andCastlereagh City Council, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the South Eastern HSC Trust, Simon Community, the Lisburn and Castlereagh Church and Faith Forum, Sure Start and the Public Health Agency.

Through collaborative discussion and effort there have been a number of steps taken so far;

  • a definition of inequality within the context of this work has been agreed along with a clear statement of intent and an agreed geographical boundary
  • Skilled facilitators conducted four small group consultation sessions with community and voluntary sector and statutory providers. The sessions sought  to better understand  what health inequalities look like within these services and in these communities and also to seek views as to how we ensure the voice of those with  lived experience is heard throughout this work;
  • creation of a working group with support from PHA Health Intelligence to develop a locality health and wellbeing profile for the defined population;
  • the set up of a virtual community of practice for people working in Lisburn with an interest in addressing inequalities, supported by Project ECHO which met for the first time in September.

This work is an opportunity to build on and make best use of the resources, skills and networks which already exist to create a shared understanding of inequalities in Lisburn, while also seeking to optimise collective action to addressing health inequalities and to learn, and share the learning from this progress.