Health Consultations Too Many Say Councillors


The short term that the consultations had to be responded to by February and March and the extra pressure on Council officers was acknowledged by the chamber, and SDLP Councillor Carmel O’Boyle made a passionate plea that the Council did respond to the ‘Draft Service Framework fro Mental Health and Wellbeing – Consultation Document’. She said, “Many organisations are facing funding cuts of 25%. Resources are dwindling and need in increasing in many health organisations. In the past many people with learning disabilities were insttutionalised but now they are increasingly living in the community. “”As they now live longer, units are opening up in the community to accommodate them. But many of the families of these have parents who are also growing older and will in the future not be able to look after their children with these difficulties. And we live in areas where some are in sectors of recognised high deprivation. There is a high level of mental health issues in Down District and it is incumbent on us to respond to this and do a good job in the consultation. We need our Council officers to look at this, and use our local knowledge and talk to the community.” The councillors decided to support this plea. In the discussion on the proposal to support a ‘Consultation on Promoting Good Nutrition’, Councillor Rea, while rcognising the need for people to be informed about proper diet, said, “Why can’t the Minister just not send out the information by leaflets etc as there are many civil servant specialists who already know what good diet is all about.” [caption id="attachment_19299" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A funding crisis looms as cuts are set to bleed NI government departments."][/caption] Sinn Féin Councillor Liam Johnston added, “It is not fair on our officers to be loaded with so many consultations. They are definitely increasing in number in recent months. Staff from the DHSS should just come out and meet us and I ‘d be happy to meet up with them and talk about this. Councillor Boyle added, “I think this consultation again refers to a care setting, for care homes. I’m concerned that the funding to the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust will be cut by 25%. Where will the deficit come from to maintain services? People living in residential care are vulnerable. I agree with Councillor Rea… we are not nutritional experts and can only say care for these clients should be the best”. As the effects of the recession bite deep into government coffers, government departments are having to make swinge-ing cut backs, but the question on many lips is, ‘do we also penalise those vulnerable people in our community?’ The jury is out at the moment… but come the elections in May, many may soon return with a unanimous vote about the NI Assembly… “Guilty, me lud”. Everything comes down to money and politics. And without money there would be no politics. ]]>


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