Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced an extension of the Physical and Sensory Disability Strategy and Action Plan to 30 September 2017.
The Minister was speaking following a visit to Disability Action in Belfast, where she met with members of the Strategy Implementation Group (SIG) to discuss the best way forward for people with physical and sensory disabilities.
The Minister said: “I was pleased to have had the opportunity to hear at firsthand the SIG’s views on the way forward for the Strategy and Action Plan. I very much support partnership working and it is clear that this has been very effective during the development and implementation of this strategy and action plan.
“After careful consideration, I am pleased to announce that I have decided to extend the Physical and Sensory Disability Strategy and Action Plan by one year from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017.”
Developed through a multi-agency approach involving the Department, the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), HSC Trusts, other government departments and the voluntary and community sector, the strategy has adopted a life cycle approach to service provision and support recognising that people living with disabilities will have changing needs throughout their lives.
It also recognises that people with a disability have a range of needs – physical, emotional, psychological and social. Therefore, the strategy addresses need within the context of a person-centred planning and a life-cycle approach to health and social care services.
The Minister continued: “I commend all the hard work to date that has been undertaken by Disability Action and the other members of the Strategy Implementation Group and indeed the various regional work streams and the Regional Sensory Impairment Group in achieving the good progress so far in the implementation of the actions in the action plan.
“This extension of the Strategy underscores my commitment to helping improve outcomes, services and support for those in the north of Ireland who have a physical, communication or sensory disability.”