Our National Clinical Support Team

The Key to Independence

People with disabilities can live independently, work and lead fulfilling lives at home but they may require daily clinical support with medication, eating, drinking and with conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy.

Many people with physical disabilities find that tailored clinical support can be life-changing. It can make it possible for them to live at home, enjoy greater independence and freedom and receive the care they need to thrive.

Irish Wheelchair Association’s National Clinical Support Team is a service for staff and members that works to make this happen. Our National Clinical Support Team (NCST) includes of a group of registered nurses with a wide variety of experience, skills and knowledge. The NCST works with our members providing extra clinical advice, guidance and support so that they can live at home independently and safely.

This service is person specific and the Clinical Support Team provide individualised training to ensure that our staff are fully supported to provide clinical support to our members.

image of fionn being fed by clinical team staff member

Beata

Beata joined Irish Wheelchair Association in 2015. In her work as a Personal Assistant, every day she sees the positive difference her support makes – empowering people to live as independently as possible.

Beata has a very holistic approach to her work. “It’s important to encourage people to see if there is anything they are interested in or that they want for themselves. It’s their decision, their life.”

“Each IWA member is so different. “The cup of tea is very important. Everyone likes their tea a certain way. It’s always important to find out, how do you like your tea? Is the cup ok? Is the colour right? Do you want dark or light sugar? Exactly how would you make it if you were making it for yourself?”

“I feel my work is important here and my work is part of something bigger”

Mary

Mary is in her 50s and lives in Dublin.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Mary manages her own Personal Assistant service, coordinating her own care and hiring her own assistant.

Over the years, Mary’s medication has become more complex. She worried that she might be unable to remain living independently. IWA’s National Clinical Support Team began working with Mary in 2012 providing extra support with looking after her medication.

“Without a PA service, or the backing of the Clinical Team, I would be in an institution. For me, an institution would break my spirit”

Fionn

Fionn is 20 years old and was born with cerebral palsy. Fionn has attended Irish Wheelchair Association’s School Leavers’ programme since 2022.

Fionn was well supported through his school years but his mother, Ann-Marie, was always worried what would happen when he reached 18. Luckily, an Irish Wheelchair Association centre opened in a town close to where Fionn lives. “I was up the walls in case there wasn’t space for Fionn but thank God he was accepted.”

“It’s fantastic,” says Ann-Marie, “We have lovely interactions with everyone and it’s brilliant. They are like family. The centre is so central here in the community.”

The staff in the centre have been trained and supported by Irish Wheelchair Association’s National Clinical Support Team. Thanks to this vital service, they all know exactly what to do which means Fionn can attend the service safely every day.

“I feel safe knowing that Fionn is OK and that he is being looked after. He’s happy here. It’s motivational for him to be here.”

Clinical Support Team

Our National Clinical Support Team currently supports over 400 people across Ireland to live more independent lives because each of them has a Personal Assistant who can provide dedicated clinical support to them at home.

Irish Wheelchair Association is one of a few organisations providing this level of support. Our Clinical Support Team is changing the landscape of community care across the country.

Imagine making the difference in someone’s life that enables them to live as fully and freely as possible. That’s the impact your gift could have today.

Thank you for being such a key part of the work of Irish Wheelchair Association.