The Primary Care Centre and Advocacy Council will work together to improve services, the Minister for Health, Neil Costa, said at the launch of a two-day conference yesterday.
The Gibraltar Health Authority’s Primary Care team have welcomed the opportunity to work together with the ‘Advocacy Council for Health Service Users with Additional Needs’, to deliver informative talks and help raise awareness regarding disabilities and different additional needs.
The conference began yesterday with talks on ‘Understanding Disabilities’ and the Advocacy Council aims to share a wealth of knowledge and experiences to front line staff in order to improve communication and engagement with health service users.
The Advocacy Council represents various associations, societies and support groups, that support people with dementia, Down’s Syndrome, autism, mental health issues and hearing impairments, amongst other conditions.
Mr Costa launched the conference stating the PCC is one of the most important aspects of the health service.
“Almost everyone, if not everyone, will pass through the Primary Care Centre so we have to listen carefully what we are being told by the associations as to how we improve our services,” Mr Costa said.
Mr Costa said it had become clear that a structure was needed to listen to all of the concerns that are shared by the different associations and this result in the inception of the Advocacy Council.
It was felt a series of educational exchanges was felt as the best way to improve services provided by the PCC.
“It is my fundamental view that we must ensure we work closely with our community and engage with our service users,” Mr Costa said.
“The Advocacy Council provides invaluable support to our health professionals and I am pleased that we have formed such a strong relationship since its formation last year.”
“We regularly hold meetings on different areas within our health services, which have already proven to be extremely constructive and useful. This is yet another beneficial initiative, where we can work together towards our common goal improving and developing on the services we offer our community”.
Mr Costa thanked the associations for keeping the Gibraltar Health Authority on its “toes”, underscoring the importance of these exchanges.
Clinical Nurse Manager Suzanne Romero said the PCC endeavours to protect the most vulnerable service users and welcomed this initiative with the Advocacy Council.