Local MLA presses for regional solution on care needs

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Thursday, March 8th, 2018

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has met with representatives of the Health and Social Care Board in Armagh to discuss ongoing pressures for Short Break Services for families who have children with complex needs. 

Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty explained, “This meeting is part of our ongoing efforts to secure a regional service for families who have children with complex needs. 



“During the latter part of last year, local families had their short-break provision at both Carrickore in Newry and Oaklands in Armagh City cancelled as both facilities had restricted access due to pressures on the service.

“I led a number of meetings in both Newry and Armagh with families and we were successful in our campaign to get the local services reinstated. However, the crisis last year exposed the very real need to have a suite of regional wrap-around services and facilities to support families who are caring for children with complex needs.



McNulty continued, “There is no simple solution to this issue, for those who use the service have a range of different disabilities and needs associated with those disabilities so we must ensure that their needs are addressed in a holistic way.

“I was astonished to learn that services for children here are funded 30% less than in England, Scotland and Wales and this simply isn’t good enough. Our system is failing children with a disability and there are concerns that too much effort is being put into diagnosing that disability with not enough resources committed to follow-up services.



He added, “I have already written to the Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly on this issue and will continue my engagement with officials, families and other stakeholders as I continue to seek a regional solution to this complex challenge.”

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