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22 May 2023


The All Party Group on Ageing and Older People chaired by Vice Chair, Colm Gildernew MLA, met in Room 21, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday 22 May 2023.


i Managing and Preventing Frailty in Older People (Read the presentation)

Colm Gildernew MLA welcomed Alison Patterson, Frailty Programme Manager, PHA, Co-ordinator of NI Frailty Network and Frailty Expert Panel to the meeting.

Alison provided information on a definition  and prevalence of frailty in Northern Ireland. She spoke about the work of the NI Frailty Network, including identification and education on frailty, benchmarking audits, prevention and public health messaging and research carried out by a health economist. Alison said that the NI Frailty Network had positive links with the British Geriatric Society and the Irish Gerontological Society. She  concluded by outlining as a case example, the successful development of the Falls Pathway for Care Homes.

Colm Gildernew MLA welcomed Dr. Jan Ritchie, Consultant Geriatrician, Co-Chair NI Frailty Network to the meeting.

Jan presented on  a report entitled Join the Dots, which was launched by the British Geriatrics Society in March 2023.

Jan stated that Join the Dots is a blueprint for preventing and managing frailty in older people and is intended to help commissioners in the design and delivery of health and social care services for older people. Jan outlined the core recommendations of the blueprint and highlighted the focus on prevention and maintaining health and wellbeing; on care delivered in the community, including care homes, involving multi-disciplinary care, with a strong emphasis on rehabilitation services and maintaining independence.


Sandra Aitcheson, Assistant Director, PHA and involved in the NI Frailty Network joined speakers Alison and Jan in the subsequent discussion with Members.

Following the presentations there were a number of points made by Members of the All Party Group including:

  • Developing an economic case for prevention/managements of frailty by health economist
  • Offering older people an annual health/frailty review
  • Importance of awareness raising and education in frailty prevention and management, and role of Community Planning at Council level in this
  • Need for systematic review of medicines
  • Lack of care packages available, particularly impacting rural areas, and the Western trust in particular
  • Need to roll out the pilot around falls prevention in care homes across NI.
  1. Short Video - What matters most to older people

Members watched a short video entitled “What matters most to older people”, which included the views of older people involved in Age NI’s Life Experience Group

Thanks to speakers, members and stakeholders

Vice Chair Colm Gildernew MLA  left meeting and Treasurer Stewart Dickson MLA stepped into the chair. Stewart Dickson MLA, closed the meeting by thanking Members, speakers and stakeholders for their engagement.

Next steps

Stewart Dickson MLA advised that the AGM would take place in June 2023, and subsequent meeting in September 2023, at Parliament Buildings (date to be confirmed).


Last updated: Aug 16 2023

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