Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has welcomed extra money for mental health, cancer and carers but said that support funds must not be left to plug holes left by Trusts.
The party’s spokesperson for mental health said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected many who use and rely on health services.
“The additional monies for the various support funds will be greatly welcomed by patients, families and carers. However, lasting support is needed, and this cannot be left to the community and voluntary sector organisation alone to provide.
“Just last week the Minister of Health conceded that increasing demand for mental health beds was not being met and was down to a lack of specially trained staff.
“Increasing staff numbers, increasing inpatient beds, supporting traumatised staff and improving access to counselling must be the Minister’s priority.”