IFIC Ireland – building momentum towards ICIC24 in Belfast

IFIC Ireland – building momentum towards ICIC24 in Belfast

It has been an extremely busy and exciting year for IFIC Ireland with conferences, webinars, speaking engagements, study tours and our Accelerated learning programme. See some updates on the year we had and upcoming activities below.

IFIC Ireland National forum (AICIC23)

The All-Ireland Conference on Integrated Care “People-centred Integrated Care: the right care, in the right place, at the right time” took place on Thursday, 23 March 2023 in O’Reilly Hall in University College Dublin. The conference focused on how integrated care is the solution to many of Ireland’s health and care challenges, particularly the urgent care crisis and improved hospital admissions and discharge approaches. Over 250 delegates attended the conference from across the island of Ireland which included Health and Social Care Services Managers, Clinicians and System leads, Academics leading in the field of integrated care, and a wide range of not-for-profit patient representative organisations and private sector providers of care services

Presentations and photos can be found at : IFIC Ireland Annual Conference – AICIC23 (integratedcarefoundation.org)

IFIC Ireland at ICIC23

The IFIC Ireland team attended the 23rd International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC23) in partnership with the Flanders Agency for Health and Care and Visit Flanders, which took place at Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp, Flanders on 22-24 May 2023. There was large attendance from Ireland with many attendees presenting oral papers, posters and workshops including the Chronic Disease Integrated Care programme from the HSE and as s part of one of the virtual sessions Sláintecare, who formally supported the conference delivered an online session ”Leveraging digital innovations to deliver person-centred integrated care closer to home in Ireland” chaired by IFIC Irelands co-director Professor Áine Carroll. You can catch up with the session here (link to recording below)

IFIC Ireland Study Tours at ICIC23

The IFIC Ireland HSE sponsored study tour took place on Thursday, 25 May in Ghent, Belgium for Irish attendees following their attendance to the 23rd International Conference on Integrated Care. The study tour was facilitated by Dr Jan De Maeseneer and An VandeWalle with presentations from Katrien van Leirberghe a health promotor, Dr Lowie de Loose a GP, Charlotte Bruns, a physiotherapist, and Elien de Coninck an advanced nurse practitioner along with some other speakers from the different Community health centres. The study tour facilitated the visiting of three different community health centres (CHC) in Ghent, Belgium these included CHC Wijkgezondheidscentrum, Nieuw Gent, CHC Botermarkt in Hundelgemsesteenweg and the Child and Familyprogram (Children 0-6 years) at Community Welfare Centre ‘De Knoop’in Hundelgemsesteenweg.

IFIC Ireland Webinar Series

Inclusion Health Special Interest Group (SIG) Launch – IFIC Ireland hosted the Inclusion Health Webinar on 13 September 2023 to formally launch the Inclusion Health Special Interest group. This session was co-chaired by the inclusion health SIG chairs, Associate professors Kate Frazer and Cliona Ni Cheallaigh with the aim of sharing and creation of knowledge on how to develop, deliver and evaluate integrated care using a human rights-based approach to inclusion and intersectionality.

Presentations and recording can be found at : Inclusion Health Special Interest Group (SIG) (integratedcarefoundation.org)

Asset-based and Inclusive: how can community orientated approaches embrace diversity Webinar – IFIC Ireland in partnership with UK IMPACT Centre and MEAPP hosted the webinar titled “Asset-based and Inclusive: how can community orientated approaches embrace diversity” on 5 December 2023.


The importance to wellbeing of being connected to family, friends and communities is now embedded within integrated care thinking and policies. Approaches such as asset-based community development, social prescribing, shared lives schemes, and community navigation are helping to transform health and care systems from being deficit focussed to building on the aspirations and strengths of individuals and communities. There is, however, a risk that such approaches replicate inequalities in society through not being accessible to disadvantaged groups and working with the communities which already have the most assets. This webinar considered how asset-based approached to integrated care can be aware of potential inequalities and pro-actively embed ways of working to address these in their practice and will include contribution from representatives from leading asset-based organisations and opportunity for discussion and debate.

Presentation and recording can be found at : Asset-based and Inclusive: how can community orientated approaches embrace diversity (integratedcarefoundation.org)

IFIC Ireland’s Accelerated Learning Programme 2023

Accelerated Learning Programmes are intensive learning programmes led by UCD/IFIC Ireland and the Integrated Care Academy© of IFIC. The format combines presentations on the key principles of integrated care by international experts (IFIC’s Senior Associates and staff) with small group work sessions, in which the participating team’s vet their integrated care projects according to a change management cycle.


The IFIC Ireland 2023 ALP took place over two weeks from 18-28 September. This involved 5 evening sessions running looking at different elements of the 9 Pillars of Integrated Care followed by two full day in person sessions taking place in Waterford on 27 and 28 September 2023.

The two day in person sessions were hosted by Professor Áine Caroll, IFIC Ireland and Professor Anne Hendry, IFIC Scotland with presentations and group work taking place in the Viking Hotel and the Site Visit taking place in the Waterford Integrated Care for Older People (WICOP) centre.

IFIC Ireland attend the HMI Conference in Dublin

The 2023 Health Management Institute of Ireland (HMI) Conference took place in the RDS, Dublin on October 24th, 2023. The HMI is the professional body for healthcare managers across all sectors of the health services in Ireland.

Professor Áine Caroll gave a presentation on Integrated care in Europe and Ireland and IFIC Ireland also had an exhibition stand on the day to promote the foundations research, academy, and networking opportunities, we received great interest and engagement from attendees on the day.

IFIC Ireland Steering Group

The IFIC Ireland Steering group still convene on a quarterly basis to help take forward IFIC’s mission and aims across the region on a more sustained basis, and a commitment to advise, discuss and prioritize IFIC Ireland’s future activities in the region. The Steering Group have a mutual commitment to standards of excellence in advancing the science, knowledge, and the support to adoption of integrated care in policy and practice and will seek to work together to develop projects, educational activities or material of mutual benefit that meet the aims and objectives of IFIC Ireland.

Our current Steering Group comprises of Prof Áine Carroll, Professor of Healthcare Integration and Improvement, UCD, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, NRH, Chair, IFIC and Fiona Lyne Director of Communications, IFIC and co-directors of IFIC Ireland; Dr Siobhán Ní Bhriain, HSE National Clinical Adviser and Group Lead for Integrated Care; Muriel Farrell, SláinteCare Implementation Office; Dr PJ Harnett, National Programme Manager, National Integrated Care Programme, Older Persons; Paul Cavanagh and Martina Moore of the Health and Social Care Board NI; Jacqui Browne, The Disabled Persons’ Network and IFIC board member; Dr Sarah Barry, Director of Academic Programmes & Senior Lecturer, RCSI and Dr Niamh Lennox- Chhugani, Chief Executive and Director of Research, IFIC. The Group is supported by the IFIC Ireland co-ordinator Kate Traynor and communication officer Miriam Galvin who are based in UCD/NRH in Dublin and the Cable Station, Valentia Island. We meet on a quarterly basis, virtually, to review IFIC Ireland strategy, education initiatives and programmes, events, and operational status of our work programme.

We extend our sincere thanks to all our Steering Group members for their commitment to and support of IFIC Ireland and look forward to working with you all as part of the IFIC Ireland family.

IFIC Integrated Care Academy Courses

Summer Evaluation School – In July 2023 HSE delegates attended the IFIC international Summer School on Integrated Care Evaluation (ISSIC23-E).

This 3-day course provided an overview on how to design and conduct an evaluation of integrated care approaches. ISSIC23-E aimed to improve participants’ skills to understand the complexity of integrated care with the capacity to extract main learning and practical information to inform decision-makers in future development of integrated care. The course is taught by senior academics and IFIC’s own team of evaluators with experience of evaluating Integrated Care in multiple contexts. 

Online Certificate in Integrated care – The Certificate in Integrated Care consists of five modules covering the 9 pillars of integrated care, alongside access to IFIC’s wealth of content featuring pre-recorded material, webinars, literature, and international case studies to underpin your learning. The accessible, high-quality programme is offered through a digital, innovative, and dynamic online learning platform. This course is accredited by CDP Standards UK.

HSE delegates attended the online certificate in 2023 in the cohort which took place from 9 October – 10 December. Great feedback was received from attendees, they all thoroughly enjoyed the course and would recommend to colleagues.

Project ValueCare

The ValueCare Cork and Kerry Pilot is now reaching its successful completion. Over the last few months, the team have focused on providing additional value to participants’ lives taking part in the integrated care digital health project. These activities featured In-person educational wellness sessions, positive ageing exercise classes, a Keep Hydrated campaign and supportive ageing well booklets. All activities were done in collaboration with the Integrated Care Programme for Older People and The Sequel Way, which provides adapted and inclusive physical activity programmes for older people based in Kerry. As the project is now in its final year, a Consortium Meeting was held at University College Dublin, hosted by the Cork and Kerry Pilot research team. European partners had rich discussions on what the project aims to leave as its legacy and how to disseminate what we have learnt about supporting older people with co-designed digital health for the future. The ValueCare Project was also presented at the European Public Health Conference in November 2023. This international conference was a fantastic platform to share the learnings that the Irish research team encountered from implementing and supporting older people to use digital health to support their health and social well-being. Watch the video below with Dr Andrew Darley to hear about some of these keys finding for future research of The ValueCare Project in Ireland.

Kerry Specialist Palliative Care Service Case Study Launch

In September 2023, IFIC’s report on the Kerry Specialist Palliative Care Service was published and received press coverage in the local media. IFIC coordinated with the HSE to organise a launch event in the Ballygarry Estate in Tralee, Co. Kerry.

The goal of the evaluation, carried out by IFIC was to investigate the emergence, evolution, success, and transferability replicability of the Kerry Specialist Palliative Care Service.

The report followed a case study research evaluation approach, allowing IFIC to provide a unique and detailed insight into the KSPCS service by comparing it to internationally recognised models of best practice. One of the consistent things identified by the report was the value of connected local leadership that adhered to a national clinical blueprint with support from the HSE.

There were 50 people in attendance at the event including IFIC staff and volunteers. Speakers at the event included Tess O’Donovan Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare; Priscilla Lynch, Head of Primary Care for Cork and Kerry; Prof Aine Carroll of IFIC; Michael Fitzgerald, Kerry Hospice Foundation volunteer and a former Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare; Jack Shanahan of Kerry Hospice Foundation, and Dr Patricia Sheahan, Clinical Lead for the KSPCS.

The launch event emphasised that future plans of the KSPCS are under discussion. These plans include five additional beds at the Tralee unit (currently have 15 beds in the palliative care unit), an outreach service in Killarney and an additional consultant post.

Media coverage of Kerry Launch can be found at the following links:






Supported by IFIC Ireland, the HSE and the Health Social Care Board of Northern Ireland (HSCB), a pilot implementation of ECHO aims to help people with complex long-term conditions, and will train GPs, nurses, and other clinicians via video conference, deploying telementoring between specialist and generalist clinicians to provide bespoke support and a more responsive and integrated service.

Over the past number of years, IFIC Ireland have been leading ECHO projects in Galway and Waterford. In Galway, a formal survey was conducted by the NI Project echo office team researcher in November 2023 to inform the evaluation process. An Impact Report will be developed to help demonstrate what their network has achieved in the year. This report will include objectives, topics, numbers attending, clips from session, evaluation information and also key learning objectives and achievements from every session. This is currently underway and will be available early January 2024. In Waterford, University Hospital Waterford/CHO5 Community Specialist Team Older People (WICOP) have completed their last echo of the series on 14 December 2023. Their overall focus was on the Nursing Homes Liaison Service. They aimed these sessions at nursing home colleagues in and around Waterford. The key deliverable they want as a result of the Echo series is to develop an educational plan as a result of listening to the participants express their educational needs going forward.

ICIC24 – 24th International Conference on Integrated Care – Belfast, 22-24 April 2024

The 24th International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC24) in partnership with IFIC Ireland and the International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC) and supported by the Department of Health, Northern Ireland and Visit Belfast will take place in ICC Belfast on 22-24 April 2024 and through the Scientific Process more than 200 papers have been received from across the island of Ireland. The reviewing process in now taking place and the programme is expected to be announced in February.

Find out more about IFIC Ireland and how to become a partner, contact:

Kate Traynor, IFIC Ireland Co-Ordinator


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