Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


25 September 2008

PN HSSPS 12/08


The Health, Social Services & Public Safety Committee has called on the Minister to live up to his commitment to develop appropriate community support to enable adults and children with learning disabilities to be resettled in the community. The call came during a visit by the Committee to Muckamore Abbey Hospital.

Speaking during the visit, the Chairperson, Mrs Iris Robinson MP MLA, said,

“The Minister has stated his commitment to the Bamford Review and the resettlement agenda.

“However, a significant number of people with learning disabilities are still housed in hospital accommodation and we are calling on the Minister to ensure that commitments he has made to them are not reneged upon because of funding pressures.

“The Committee recognises that one size does not fit all and there are some severely disabled patients in the hospital and their transfer into community care can only take place with full consultation with the patients and their families and when there is adequate support in place.”

The visit provided the Committee with an opportunity to meet with representatives of the Trust, the Eastern Health and Social Services Council and the Society of Parents & Friends of Muckamore Abbey and to hear their views on implementing fully the recommendations in the Bamford Review, including the resettlement agenda.


Notes to Editor

Muckamore Abbey Hospital provides a regional specialist assessment and treatment service for people with learning disabilities and helps to support people living in the community.

Government policy in recent decades has sought to promote the inclusion of people with a learning disability in the normal life of the community. This has been supported by Equal Lives which is the learning disability report produced by the Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability Services.

The Report provides a commitment to the resettlement of patients to appropriate placements in the community and the development of a smaller regional centre providing specialist inpatient assessment and treatment services in support of people living in the community.

Committee Membership:

Mrs Iris Robinson MP (DUP) (Chairperson); Ms Michelle O’Neill (SF) (Deputy Chairperson); Mr Thomas Buchanan (DUP); Dr Kieran Deeny (IHC); Mr Alex Easton (DUP); Mr Tommy Gallagher (SDLP); Mr Sam Gardiner (UUP); Mrs Carmel Hanna (SDLP); Mr John McCallister (UUP); Mrs Claire McGill (SF); Ms Sue Ramsey (SF)

The Clerk to the Committee is Mr Hugh Farren, Room 412, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX.
Tel No: 028 90521360 Fax No: 028 90521667
Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office, Room B2, Parliament Buildings, Belfast BT4 3XX.
Tel No: 02890-521137/521396. Fax: 02890 521961.

Media Enquiries to:

Debra Savage, Press Officer, NI Assembly
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