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Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership – Five year plan


The Health and Social Care Board has approved a five year plan, developed by the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership (NIASP), to safeguard adults at risk in Northern Ireland.

A consultation process on the proposed reconfiguration of inpatient services for adults requiring addiction treatment has been launched today by the Health and Social Care Board.

The purpose of the consultation is to consider how specialist in-patient beds, used for the treatment of those with alcohol and substance misuse, could be better organised to improve the services provided throughout Northern Ireland.

Aidan Murray, Assistant Director of Mental Health and Learning Disability, Health and Social Care Board, said:

“The Health and Social Care Board has reviewed specialist in-patient treatment provision, known as Tier 4 services, within the health and care sector and overall there are considerable differences between the services that can be accessed within the five Trust areas. Recognising this and acknowledging best practice guidelines, the Board is keen that a more consistent and improved service should be available for all residents in Northern Ireland.”

In addition to proposals to reorganise Tier 4 services, the Health and Social Care Board also plans to strengthen locally based, specialist community services, known as Tier 3 services. This is consistent with the vision set out in the Bamford Review, and confirmed in Transforming Your Care, to strengthen community services and decrease reliance upon in-patient based services.

Dr Stephen Bergin, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, added:

“In the majority of cases treatment can be safely undertaken within the community Tier 3 setting, without the need for admission to hospital or a specialist facility. However, our aim is to ensure that, if required, those in need have access to specialist Tier 4 services on a seven days/nights per week basis through a new regional model. The current situation, which restricts people in some areas of Northern Ireland from accessing specialist services or where services are unavailable over weekends, is far from ideal.”

While subject to the outcome of the consultation process, the Health and Social Care Board is currently proposing the future delivery of Tier 4 services at two specialist units which will deliver a new regional service model on a 24/7 basis. In order to establish the new regional model, the likely next step would involve the discontinuation of services at the Southern (St Luke’s, Armagh) and Western Trust (Omagh) addiction treatment units. Thereafter, the residents of all Trust areas will be able to access specialist Tier 4 detoxification and rehabilitation services.

During the consultation period, the Board will seek the views of patients, clients, families, carers and the general public to help inform decisions about these proposals for the future development and delivery of these important services.

This will include a series of public meetings which will be held:

• Thursday 7th November 2013: Tower Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DR (Board Room) at 6.30pm

• Monday 11th November 2013: Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall Street, Belfast, BT12 5AD at 7.00pm

• Wednesday 13th November 2013: Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh, BT79 0AP (Doctors Library, PostGrad Centre) at 7.00pm

The closing date for consultation responses is Friday 10th January 2014 at 5.00pm.

Responses or requests for further information or alternative formats should be emailed to tier4addiction.consultation@hscni.net or in writing to: Tier 4 Consultation, Social Care Directorate, Health and Social Care Board, 12-22 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BS or telephone 028 9032 1313.

To view the consultation document visit www.hscboard.hscni.net/consult.