First Meeting Of Mental Health And Learning Disability Board

Northern Ireland Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, has said that the new Mental Health and Learning Disability Board will be the driving force in delivering the Bamford reforms.

Speaking after the first meeting of the Board, the Minister said that that the task of modernising mental health and learning disability services was daunting. He said: “I expect the Board to act as champions for people with mental health and learning disabilities.

“The challenges are to establish strategies and sustain action which will improve the mental well-being of the whole community, prevent mental ill-health and improve support to carers. We must also ensure people with a learning disability or mental health problem are not isolated but fully included in every part of our society.

“My Department has already been taking on board Bamford recommendations. It is vital that all relevant Departments and statutory bodies are involved in developing a joined-up response and developing and re-shaping services.”

Commenting on the first meeting, Board Chairman Professor Roy McClelland said: “The new Board of Experts is pleased to see that Government intends to take seriously the messages coming from the Bamford review. This is a challenging agenda which will take some time to achieve. We hope to work constructively with Ministers and to add value to the implementation process.”