‘Surge’ in mental health patients, DUP group hears

Upper Bann MP David Simpson led the DUP delegation including local MLAs Sydney Anderson and Carla Lockhart to discuss ongoing issues throughout the Southern Trust and the future of Craigavon Area Hospital and the continued enhancement of services.

Upper Bann MP David Simpson led the DUP delegation including local MLAs Sydney Anderson and Carla Lockhart to discuss ongoing issues throughout the Southern Trust and the future of Craigavon Area Hospital and the continued enhancement of services.

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The Southern Health Trust has experience ‘a surge’ in patients presenting with mental health issues, a DUP delegation has been told.

The delegation led by Upper Bann MP David Simpson met with health officials to discuss ongoing issues throughout the Southern Health Trust.

During the meeting with the Interim Chief Executive Francis Rice the DUP said he told them of a rise in patients with mental health issues.

Mr Simpson said: “Mr Rice was able to confirm that the hospital had seen a surge in patients presenting with mental health issues.

“However, he assured my colleagues and I that this did happen occasionally which unfortunately can lead to temporary short backlogs but the service was once again working within target.

“The hospital is actively recruiting at every level which we hope will ease the burden and ultimately benefit both inpatients and day patients. Additional monies have been channelled into Autism Services and I voiced the concerns of families that are most in need of these services,” said the MP.

Joining Mr Simpson were local MLAs Sydney Anderson and Carla Lockhart.

The pressed on items such as waiting times, recruitment, mental health provision and finance for additional services.

Mr Simpson said: “My office receives complaints relating to specific issues that service users are experiencing. Craigavon Area Hospital is striving to meet targets and I must pay tribute to the Interim Chief Executive, his management board and the staff on the ground.”

“They all work tirelessly under very difficult circumstances,” he said.