Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has urged the health trusts to provide more mental health inpatient beds across the North.
The party’s spokesperson on mental health was speaking after a Sinn Féin delegation to meet with the management of Belfast Trust.
The West Belfast MLA said:
“Having access to a hospital bed, with full wrap around support is an essential part of any healthcare service.
“Our representatives are approached regularly by concerned and worried families pleading for help to get their loved one a bed or sufficient mental health support.
“The Belfast Trust confirmed to me that demand has increased by 30% and already they are operating at 100% bed capacity. In Belfast people are being transferred to other trust areas because there simply isn’t enough beds.”
“The previous reduction in the number of acute mental health beds at the recently opened Belfast acute mental health unit was clearly short sighted and needs to be addressed.”
“I am calling on the Minister of Health and all Trusts to commit to increasing the number of mental health beds as a core part of improving mental health services, and must be included within the new 10 year strategy for mental health.”