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Sinn Féin call for ‘Mental Health Champion’

31 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has called for the urgent implementation of the Bamford Review and specifically for the appointment of a 'Mental Health Champion' and the ring-fencing of the mental health budget.

Mc Ní Chuilín, speaking after the meeting of the Stormont Health committee today, said:

"Michael McGimpsey can be under no illusions about the need to move on the implementation of the Bamford Review.

"Our mental health services have been under funded to the point that they are struggling to provide the services that are needed. In almost all areas there are key deficiencies.

"It is essential that we see early progress on the appointment of a 'Mental Health Champion' to ensure that the needs of people with mental health problems are met and that service development is taken forward with both service users and health professionals.

"I also believe that it is essential that we move quickly to ring-fence mental health expenditure, particularly to guard against any loss of money back into the health budget as a whole." ENDS

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