Global Challenges, Territorial Answers: the Future of Health in Europe - Event organised by EUREGHA on behalf of the Committee of the Region's Interregional Group on Health and Well-being

On 7th of February, the 4-year SUNFRAIL Project was concluded by its Final Conference in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy. The final conference gathered regional health authorities, local and regional stakeholders, policy makers and SUNFRAIL project partners to present and discuss the SUNFRAIL project’s result, opportunities, replicability and outcomes. The SUNFRAIL Project have successfully succeeded in developing a SUNFRAIL Model for frailty, a SUNFRAIL tool for early detection of frailty, and a SUNFRAIL human resources tool for training of health professionals. Ms Elisabetta Gualmini, Minister of Welfare Policies in Region Emilia-Romagna, opened the SUNFRAIL Final conference by addressing the demographic change challenge and the importance of early detection of frailty. In the session of “Initiatives to address frailty and multimorbidity” existing networks and actions to address frailty was presented to participants, such as the network of Italian regions Pro.M.I.S (PROgramma Mattone Internazionale Salute) and the AdvantAGE JA. Ms Mirca Barbolini, Coordinator of the SUNFRAIL Project from the Regional Agency for Health and Social Care in the Emilia-Romagna Region, presented the project results and outcomes by addressing the elements of success regarding the SUNFRAIL tool; 1) Understandable, 2) Easy to use by professionals, and community actors, 3) Empowering beneficiaries 4) Connecting services (health, social, community care), 5) Multidisciplinary approach to frailty. Final recommendations regarding opportunities and replicability of the SUNFRAIL projects outputs were drafted by EUREGHA Chair Nick Batey during the conference as follows: ·         Reinforce the message to policy makers across Europe that frailty is a reversible condition, and needs to be addressed through its main dimensions and early identification of risk factors, to orient proactive and preventive strategies. (European, national, regional and local health authorities) ·         Move beyond the hospital setting that frailty alerts can be identified especially in community and primary care settings, targeting a population that may be unknown by services. (National, regional and local health authorities) ·         To address frailty in a sustainable way requires broad interdisciplinary approaches and integrated strategies connecting existent health, social and community services. This should be embedded in funding approval projects (National, regional and local health authorities) ·         Adopt a more holistic consideration of we mean by frailty e.g. bio/psycho/social aspects ·         Don’t underestimate the challenge of implementation. Use the evidence to create a compelling local story and use existing structures to drive adoption where possible (local authorities) ·         Use structures to accelerate good practices exchange (EU networks and national agencies- EUREGHA, PROMIS, Reference site collaborative network, etc) ·         Addressing reversible frailty is an issue relevant to an increasing proportion of European population. It will be greater added value in addressing this at EU level. Please find more information about the SUNFRAIL Project on the website. SUNFRAIL (Reference Sites Network for Prevention and Care of Frailty and Chronic Condition in community dwelling persons of EU Countries) is a European project with a duration of 30 months, which started in May 2015. The project received funding from the EU Third Health Programme 2014-2020 and gathered 11 partners from 6 EU Member States.  

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