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Concerns voiced over the ability of Healthy Ireland to ‘effect change’

A report of the survey has been seen by this newspaper following a Freedom of Information request.

The Council is a 36-member body Chaired by former rugby international Mr Keith Wood. It was established last year to be a “platform to connect and mobilise communities, families and individuals” under the Government’s major Healthy Ireland policy initiative.

Members were consulted last year on a number of aspects of the Healthy Ireland policy and 22 members “shared concerns over the likelihood of the Healthy Ireland initiative effecting real change,” according to the results of the process.

“Concerns here included: A perceived lack of cross-departmental buy-in; a lack of joined-up thinking across services; a perceived lack of power of the Council; and a lack of clarity over the Council’s role.”

Speaking recently, a Department spokesperson said that the feedback from Council members was taken on board and fed into a new action plan for 2015.

“Council members were surveyed shortly after their first meeting in June 2014, to get their initial views on what they perceived to be the key challenges ahead as they started on the process,” the spokesperson told MI.

“Based on feedback received, an action plan for 2015 has been agreed by the Council which takes account of the Council’s role, the priorities and challenges identified and the contribution that Council members can make to address these issues.”

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