Mental Health high on agenda for council and health trusts

March 31, 2021

Representatives from the South Eastern and Belfast Health and Social Care Trusts met with Lisburn and Castlereagh Council Members last night, providing a very positive update on a range of issues and discussing the need for collaboration and engagement as we plan for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chair of the Council’s Health Working Group, Alderman Paul Porter reflected on some of the issues discussed: “I was pleased to hear that issues related to mental health are high on the list of priorities for both Trusts. The ongoing work on the development of a Mental Health Strategy and the benefits of having a Mental Health Champion with a regional overview are very much welcomed.

"We had a very constructive discussion on waiting times for those with mental health issues accessing support and how local government and community groups might further assist and support those in need of these services. We will continue these discussions in the weeks ahead.

"I want to thank both Trusts for meeting with us and congratulate them on the success of the vaccination programme to date. The programme has now moved into the next phase offering appointments to 45-49 year olds from today. I wish to thank all of the healthcare staff involved in this outstanding achievement and I encourage anyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust’s Director of Planning, Performance and Informatics, who also leads on the vaccination programme, Roisin Coulter spoke about the importance of collaboration and engagement between local government and the Trusts: “We welcome every opportunity to engage with local councils and their members. We find the relationship we have developed with Lisburn & Castlereagh to be particularly positive where constructive discussion takes place and we have genuine two way engagement with people who are close to communities and are connecting with them daily.

"We want to continue to build on this relationship and I would like to thank the LCCC Members and Officers who continue to engage with us so positively. I hope this level of collaboration will be a very positive part of effective community planning going forward.”

Among the other issues discussed were capital programmes and parking issues at Lagan Valley Hospital and the Ulster Hospital, visiting arrangements for those in residential care facilities, Knockbracken Health Estate walk and provision of services at Lisburn Assessment and Resource Centre.