Project lead appointed for €8.7m EU-funded cross-border project to transform older people’s health services

A project lead has been appointed for the €8.7million cross-border ‘mPower’ project, which aims to enable older people with long term conditions (LTCs) to take the steps needed to live well, safely and independently in their own homes by self-managing their own health and care in the community.

Alan Connor, formerly of NHS North of Scotland Planning Group, has been appointed project manager of the five year project, which is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Comprised of public and third sector organisations from Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, mPower aims to introduce new digital tools to create connected, personalised care in homes and local communities.

With 80% of all GP consultations relating to LTCs, and 30% of those not being medically required, the project is designed to empower patients to take control of their conditions at home by using technology, while simultaneously freeing up GPs and other healthcare professionals so that they can treat more people.

Mr Connor said: “Around 66% of people in Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland will have one or more long term conditions (LTCs) by the age of 65. Promoting self-care at home is an important step in alleviating the pressure the health service faces, while enabling people to better manage their conditions. I am delighted to be taking on the management of this project and am excited to work with our various partners to see the difference this could make to the future of health care provision in this area.”

The team behind the project are looking to involve a range of stakeholders in each of the target communities, including project partners, GPs, primary care professionals and third sector organisations involved in supporting the health and wellbeing of older people.

From late 2017 to December 2021, ‘Community Navigators’ will be employed to work with people referred from health and care services to develop wellbeing plans connecting them to activities in their community as well as to new technology to enhance support for health

and wellbeing. Over the course of the project, mPower will support 2,500 people through the development of wellbeing plans, and 4,500 people through eHealth interventions.

These personalised wellbeing plans will focus on prevention and self-management, and will include social prescribing – connecting people to local activities and services which support health and wellbeing – and eHealth interventions, including integrated home and mobile monitoring solutions and digital health applications.

Notes to editors:

  • The mPower partners are NHS 24, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, NHS Western Isles, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the University of the Highlands and Islands (Scotland); Health Service Executive (Ireland); Southern Health and Social Care Trust and Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland); and Cooperating and Working Together – a partnership between health and social care services in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
  • The mPower project has a budget of €8.7million and is funded through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, and match funded by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and the Scottish Government.
  • The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by The Department of Finance in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.
  • The INTERREG VA Programme has a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contribution of €240 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.
  • For more information on the SEUPB please visit