The Connected Health Group have set themselves an ambitious task of transforming the domiciliary care sector across Ireland (North and South).  Connected Health Group has grown exponentially over the last number of years and are now one of leading Supported Living and Care providers in Ireland.  Uniquely, Connected Health take a rights based approach to all their work, Douglas Adams, CEO explains, “the reality of domiciliary care is that the current systems on the island of Ireland can’t cope. In the North we have a system that is very well regulated but drastically underfunded while in the South of the country we have a system that is slightly better funded but hugely deregulated.  We want to change that and we’re starting with a common point of contact between the two services and that is the lack of professional development and educational opportunities for those who work within the sector.  We are determined to drive those standards up across the island, in so doing create a better equipped workforce to deliver the highest standard of island wide care for our citizens. This is why we created the Connected Academy, Irelands first dedicated learning space for domiciliary care workers”.

As part of this transformation quest, Connected Academy have teamed up with the Awarding Body, Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI) to develop a framework of accredited courses. Martin Flynn, CEO of OCN NI commented, “We were approached by Connected Health to assist in the creation of a learning pathway for domiciliary care workers from basic level 1 to level 5 (HND / foundation degree level).  This is a great initiative and OCN NI fully supports the development of accredited training to support the career development of the workforce in this sector”.

Connected Health Group realise that to have a deep and lasting impact, domiciliary care services must not only provide opportunities for the professional development of workers but they must also promote sustainable partnership within communities.  Theresa Morrison, Head of Education in the Connected Academy sums things up, “While we are pushing to dramatically improve on the measurable outcomes for domiciliary care across Ireland; both in terms of service delivery and the professional development opportunities for workers, we resolutely believe the heart of that process is local people caring for local people – nothing is more powerful or empowering than that.  We will work with local partnerships and organisations to help us recruit people from their communities to care for the most vulnerable in their communities.  We will train and equip those workers to the highest possible standard, creating real opportunity, aspiration and hope through the Connected Academy initiative.”