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.
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.