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Island’s Health-e Directory launch helps public to access self care advice and services 10 April 2013

Health-e Directory launch 10-Apr-2013An online ‘one stop shop’ for all the help, support and advice available to the public about self care and keeping healthy has been launched today by the Department of Health. Called the ‘Health-e Directory’, the online repository has been developed over the last year as a key part of the Department of Health’s ten year strategy.

The concept of self care is becoming ever more important as people are increasingly encouraged and interested in taking care of their own health and wellbeing. Self care is about people taking action to maintain their own physical and mental health, meeting their social and psychological needs, preventing illness or accidents and caring more effectively for minor ailments and long-term conditions. Its role in supporting those with long term conditions is significant, where managing a condition and its impacts can be a lifelong endeavour, such as those with diabetes for example. Lifestyle choices and the availability of education, support and advice all play a critical role in enabling everyone to take better care of themselves.

Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK, said:

“The launch of this important online service is a key stepping stone in realising the Department’s and Government’s ambitions in supporting the public to take care of their health and make healthy choices. Prevention really is a watchword of 21 Century healthcare, and increasingly so here in the Isle of Man. Our health service is shifting from being one simply focussed around treating ill-health, to being one geared towards providing the support, education and resources to prevent ill health from occurring in the first place. Equally, where conditions do come to light, supporting people to enjoy life to the full and to remain as healthy as possible is extremely important to ensure that conditions don’t worsen or lead to new ones developing.

“The Health-e Directory is also an example of partnership working between government and the third sector. This Directory is far from focussed on health services run by government, but takes a wider view, incorporating in a single place the diverse range of self care services available in the Isle of Man, which is certainly a first and a move which I’m sure will be welcomed by the public.”

The Department has been encouraged by the level of interest and support from organisations across the Island, which demonstrates the increasing awareness of self care to good health and wellbeing. When the Department held its first Self Care Summit just over a year ago, it was evident that much advice and support was being delivered locally, but that knowledge and awareness of what was available was patchy. The consensus at the Summit was clear, the wealth of information needed to be brought together in one accessible place for the public and professions to easily access.

By enabling easy access to appropriate information about self care through the Department’s website, a resource which can be kept current unlike a printed document which can easily become out of date, the Department can help patients and their relatives to be the drivers of their own care with support where necessary from various healthcare professionals.

Cath Quilliam, Director of Community Nursing, said:

“At an on-Island summit last year called ‘Your Health, Your Way’, we brought a group of staff, patient representatives and members of the voluntary sector together to look at many aspects of self care. The launch of this Health-e Directory comes as a direct result of the summit and the ideas generated there – particularly the importance of promoting and supporting people to self-care.

“We encourage both the public and health care professionals to use this online directory to find out more information about the services, organisations and networks that support wellbeing, and enable the public to help make healthier choices and take responsibility for their own care and wellbeing. The webpage is designed to be easily accessible for all users. Using technology and developing new skills through self care can boost confidence, giving people a sense of control and involvement which is miraculous to see, especially those with long term conditions.”

The Health-e Directory can be accessed online at www.gov.im/selfcare.

To further promote the Health-e Directory, food safe labels displaying the QR code will be placed on fruit sold at Noble's Thie Bee Cafe, for a period of time. The QR code when scanned by a smart phone, redirects to the Health-e Directory web resource.

Contributions for the Directory will continue to be welcomed, adding to the array of information already submitted. To submit information about self-care services and facilities available in the Isle of Man for inclusion in the Health-e Directory, please complete the online form at www.surveymonkey.com/s/healthedirectory. To receive a paper copy of the Health-e Directory submission form or for further information regarding self care, please contact Ann Corkill by telephoning 811830, or by emailing ann.corkill@gov.im.

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