In the last two years our readers in Derry will have been all too aware of the debate about the provision of detoxification services in the City.  Today, BtP can reveal who or what organisations supported a Derry detox centre when the official consultation was released in 2013.  The results may surprise you.

The Health and Social Care Board issued a consultation in September 2013 about the configuration of in-patient (or Tier 4) addiction treatment services.  At the time, there were a total of 42 beds available to cater for both in-patient addiction services, and rehabilitation.

Antrim housed a 7-day 10 bed service for detox and stabilization

Downpatrick housed a 7-day 14 bed service for detox/stabilisation and rehabilitation

Armagh had a 5-day service with 10 beds for detox/stabilisation

and Omagh had 5 beds for rehabilitation on a 5-day basis

The Board had proposed as part of its plan for the future of these services:

“Future Trust Tier 4 provision should be based upon a total of 24 beds regionally reflecting existing levels of HSC detoxification / stabilisation provision. To provide reasonable geographical access, these beds should be provided across two sites. This would include limited provision for rehabilitation for physically or mentally vulnerable patients.”

As far as responses go, the Board received responses from the following during the consultation period:

HSC Trusts = 5      Primary care = 1

Political representatives = 5

District Council Officers = 4

Service User Network Groups = 4

Individuals = 7     Voluntary / Other = 12


Our readers will not be surprised to learn that the consultation received a number of responses calling for the service in Omagh to be secured.

These include:

West Tyrone SDLP    West Tyrone Sinn Fein

An unnamed W Tyrone MLA (party not stated) and an unnamed W Tyrone Sinn Fein MLA

Western Health and Social Care Trust and UNISON

One political representative’s response sought for the City to have a dedicated detox facility:

A Derry SDLP MLA – former MLA Pat Ramsey (we have verified this from an old press release)

There are a number of other responses from groups and unnamed individuals with differing view points – however, all of these responses, except one (the response from Pat Ramsey) have supported the call for the service in the West to remain in Omagh, and have not made any specific mention of the siting of a service in Derry/Londonderry.  There was no response from Derry City Council.

Given the intense and public campaign to have a detoxification provision in the City, it is interesting to note that only one elected representative responded, and that the Western Trust itself did not seek to have a facility in the City.

We also asked the Board for ‘all documentation and correspondence from Derry City Council, Derry City and Strabane District Council (new Supercouncil) or any individual members of either of these institutions to the HSCB in relation to the provision of a detoxification facility in the North West in the last 18 months. (covers all of the consultation period and a year after)

Sadly, the response was that there was no record of any contact.


7 thoughts on “DERRY DETOX: BETRAYED?

  1. DISGUESTED – BEST OF LUCK TO OMAGH EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NO PUBLIC CAMPAIGN THERE – MORE THAT 70,000 ENDORSED A DETOX UNIT IN DERRY VIA PAPER PETITION (48,000+) WITH AROUND ANOTHER 20,000+ VIA THE INTERNET. THE FIGHT MUST GO ON – LOTA CONTINUA – JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN via FACEBOOK PAGES – Set up a detox unit in Derry Hit Youtibe – Derry Detoxed for reality on the ground – Join via txt to 07783660181 or send an Email to – Don’t say you support this hun=manitarian cause to save lives & change life-styles, and decide to take no SOLIDARITY action, whatsoever. Hope folks remember the above when it comes to the next Stormont election – I salute Pat Ramsey, but we were told both @ the former Derry City Regional Resources meeting, and more recently @ the Heath & Community Committee meeting in Strabane, that we had 100% all-party support. Smoke & mirrors – yet again – not only disgusted, but enough to make you totally despair – but hope remains – as the campaign is far from dead, and WE SHALL OVERCOME, SOME DAY !!!!!


    1. Hi Fionnbarra, unfortunately the FOI responses we have show some talking one way and doing another, this is a question for them, we’re glad to be able to put it in the public domain


  2. They don’t want the trouble ie risk that comes with detoxification in Derry and now politically they won’t have it because it would mean the people were right, can’t have that now can we, for the people who are interested in a option or alternative, look to fight this cause on a cross border front in the whiteoaks, they have the facility what’s missing is the resources to make it happen ( free at the point of contact of course) people shouldn’t be trying to resurrect old egos on civil activist front or use the names of dead family members (mine in particular) the push for a detox comes from the people and should be led by them just like the petition was brought on by the people and carried out by a handful of dedicated individuals ( now I see individuals talk about it as if they collected every signature themselves hang your head in shame )…DQ..


  3. Congratulation on this article. I have just come across it through facebook.

    I worked in this field for years in Derry. Retired early through stress. Social services, psychiatric and medical services in the field of homelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, psychiatric problems are a joke. There is a terrible lack of facilities, staff, proper trained personnel both at the coal face and in planning. In my opinion I have witnessed people even dying through negligence from professionals, administration, social services, hospitals ,doctors and welfare system. All pass the buck and it’s a bureaucratic mess.


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