West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Usefulness of Hospital Liaison group questioned

Published: 15 October, 2012

Sinn Fein Omagh Town councillor Sorcha McAnespy has questioned the usefulness of the hospital liaison committee, a partnership between the Western Trust and Omagh District Council. She was speaking after mental health services were withdrawn from the Tyrone and Fermanagh (T & F) site in Omagh.

Speaking in the aftermath of the announcement by UUP minister Edwin Poots councillor McAnespy said:

"Given that the retention of mental health provision in the local area was such a big part of the enhanced hospital it leaves a huge question mark over the entire project. This was to be phase two of the enhanced hospital, and the abandonment of mental health provision in the area leaves a gaping hole in health provision as a whole never mind mental health.

"Not only does it further erode local jobs from Omagh but represents a u turn on previous commitments to safeguard mental health provision, which has been based at the T and F site for very many years.

"I would furthermore question the usefulness of the Hospital Liaison committee between the local council and the Western Trust. We will no doubt be told at a future meeting that the intention was always to retain mental health provision in Omagh but that this was in some way a 'solo run' by the minister. The origin behind the group was a good one but I'm now questioning its usefulness.