On the 23rd and 24th of March, the second face-to-face meeting of the ValueCare Consortium was planned to take place in Athens, Greece. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not travel to Greece and the meeting took place virtually. Over the two days, ideas on the project activities were exchanged and discussed. Plans were made on how to continue our work on the project.
On the first day, the meeting started with a topic that is affecting everyone in the past few months: the COVID-19 pandemic. We discussed the impact of the pandemic for each partner and particularly, for each pilot site, what should be adapted and how to best deal with delays and changes. An example of how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the project is that co-design activities, which were initially planned in May and June, will now be planned for the upcoming months. Various questions and concerns were raised by the partners and we developed a contingency plan.
The meeting continued with discussions about other relevant work packages. For example, the value-based framework was presented: how will we choose a ICHOM standard set and how can it be applied it in the evaluation. Also, the IT tools that could be used to support the implementation of the ValueCare approach were demonstrated. Finally, meeting day 1 concluded with discussions on the co-design methodology, engagement of older citizens and professionals as well as what ways can be used to exploit the results by generating new business models of service provision in the health sector.
The second and final day of the meeting started with a conversation about the framework for implementation of the ValueCare approach in each of the seven pilot sites. Many questions but also suggestions for solutions were raised. Subsequently, other work package leaders presented progress made regarding their work package.
Ethics and data protection was one of these topics; the ValueCare Ethics Committee has been established, and all pilot sites were asked to answer a set of questions with regard to data protection and ethical considerations. Each pilot site will start or has already started the application procedure for approval from their local ethics committee. Finally, the two-day meeting concluded with discussions about the risk evaluation framework.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all confident and excited to keep this project moving and to reach the objectives of delivering efficient outcome-based integrated health and social care to older persons and therefore, improving quality of life and the sustainability of health and social care systems in Europe.