Council Chair and Vice Chair confirm support for Acute Mental Health Unit in Omagh

24th August 2022

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Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Chair, Councillor Barry McElduff, and Vice Chair, Councillor Allan Rainey MBE, delivered a letter of support for the establishment of an acute mental health unit in Omagh for the attention of Neil Guckian, the Chief Executive of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT).

The Council had made representations to the Minister of Health to highlight Members’ concerns that a lack of priority had been shown to the WHSCT area.  The Minister had advised that the Trust (WHSCT) had been asked to refresh and resubmit its business case for the establishment of the unit.  The Council understands that the Trust (WHSCT) is currently refreshing the Business Case for submission.

Speaking about the establishment of the new acute mental health unit in Omagh, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, said:

The Vice Chair, Councillor Allan Rainey MBE, and I decided to use our Civic Leadership roles to reaffirm the Council’s position in relation to the provision of a new acute mental health unit in Omagh.  Our strict understanding of this is that such a unit will include a mental health admissions unit.

We are asking the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) to show urgency and act decisively in pressing the case for the mental health unit in Omagh with the Department of Health.  We also want to ask that the business case for the establishment of the mental health unit be refreshed and resubmitted as a matter of urgency.

The Council has a positive working relationship with the Trust (WHSCT) through the Health and Social Care Services Sub Committee and we feel now is an important time to use that partnership to jointly seek the establishment of the new mental health unit in Omagh for the benefit of all our residents.

Mental Health is a critical issue that can impact on anyone at any age.  The Council is committed to ensuring that our people are healthy and well – physically, mentally and emotionally.  To secure a mental health unit in Omagh, which would comprise both admissions and the addictions unit, would ensure that our residents have access to vital services.”

The Vice Chair, Councillor Allan Rainey MBE, added “The provision of appropriate mental health services in the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area is long overdue and the residents deserve to have equal access to such services as those in other areas of Northern Ireland.”

It is understood that when the new mental health unit is established it will be a regional centre and benefiting those who live locally as well as those living outside the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area.