Failure to appoint Mental Health Chief highlights need for urgent action

Alliance Health Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has hit out at the fact that a Director for Mental Health as proposed in the Bamford Review has not yet been appointed, and he stated that this shows the lack of focus shown by the Department of Health. His comments come following the Minister Michael McGimpsey’s revelation that the vital role of mental health chief has not yet been filled.

Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “The Health Minister Michael McGimpsey revealed yesterday that no one has been appointed Director of Mental Health locally. The creation of this role is a vital component of the Bamford Review.

“I think that this sorry revelation illustrates the lack of effort made to date to tackle this most difficult of areas. We want to see the recommendations of the Bamford Review implemented to help provide the best possible mental health services for local people.

“Northern Ireland has an unacceptable high instance of suicide and until the Department of Health starts taking this issue really seriously and gets this important vacancy filled, we can make little progress in this field.

“The post of Director of Mental Health and disability services for Northern Ireland has been advertised three times and no one has been appointed – we need to get this post filled by the right person as a matter of urgency. I want to keep the pressure on the new Health Minister until we fulfil this vital recommendation of the Bamford Review.”


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