• Pathfinder

About Pathfinder for Fermanagh and West Tyrone

The Western Trust announced in July 2018 that it would be embarking on a Pathfinder initiative looking at Health and Social Care services across Fermanagh and West Tyrone.

In delivering a series of briefings to staff, public representatives and groups at the South West Acute Hospital in July 2018, Western Trust Chief Executive, Dr Anne Kilgallen, said: “We see Pathfinder as creating a whole new conversation about Health and Social Care in Fermanagh and West Tyrone. It means taking a detailed honest look at what we’re doing and whether we can do it better.”

Western Trust Deputy Chief Executive, Kieran Downey, was announced as the appointed lead figure for the Pathfinder initiative and the first stage in the process involved a series of engaging discussions with staff in South West Acute and Omagh hospitals in August 2018.

A massive community and staff engagement journey followed, which included 17 pre-engagement events and 62 engagement sessions at community venues throughout the region, featuring intimate, honest and open discussions with more than 2,200 people. These sessions, which were held from January to February 2019, brought to light a number of concerns of people living in the area, including homecare services, GP services and recruitment issues. They highlighted the fact that services were struggling to meet need and the importance of ensuring greater cohesion between health and other agencies – particularly road services, rural transport, broadband and education.


All discussion and concerns were noted, collected and recorded by the Pathfinder team.

Review of the Engagement Sessions: To read a review of each of these sessions, click here.

In April, 2019, a health summit was held in Enniskillen, which provided an opportunity to present all the latest information on the Pathfinder project to a wide range of stakeholders. It was also a chance to discuss the next phase in the process and the turning of the tide from talk to action.

Speaking of the summit, Mr Downey said: “While the talking and engagement will always continue, we are now entering the second phase of action and co-production will be very much to the fore again in our planning as we have appointed service users to help influence this next phase.”

He added that attention would now turn to helping to connect communities. He said: “In our communities we heard of the impact of poverty and rural isolation and the impact loneliness has on our citizens. PathfinderWest will turn its immediate attention to support ‘Connecting Communities’ as a concept; to build solid connections that will ensure we maximise all of the resources available to generate an underpinning ethos of compassionate care for each other.”

The next phase in the Pathfinder process involves working with our newly appointed Experts by Experience – service users whose personal experience will be utilised through specific working groups made up of Western Trust staff and various other stakeholders and which are designed to help bring about change.

There will be many other proactive elements of the Pathfinder process that will be brought to fruition in the coming months.


Pathfinder Governance Structure

Pathfinder Governance Structure was approved by Trust Board at its January 2019 meeting:

The next step is to begin to populate the respective groups and enable the functions to begin to breathe life into the Pathfinder work.

Fermanagh and West Tyrone Strategic Pathfinder Group:

  • This group will be chaired by the Chief Executive and will meet twice yearly.

Pathfinder Operational Group:

  • This will be the operational hub of Pathfinder. The Operational Group will be live from July 2019 and will be co-chaired by the Assistant Director Medical (South West and Omagh) and the chair of the Experts by Experience group.

Work stream(s) membership:

  • There are four work streams. Experts by Experience will be populated through each work stream.