The Belfast Mental Health Rights Group visited Stormont on the 3rd March to meet with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Health Committee. The Committee is made up of MLAs and exists to scrutinise and assist the work of the Minister Minister for Health.

Group members Gerard McCartan, Grace Cassidy and Bobby Duffin used the meeting to brief the Committee on the new indicators which they launched at the ‘What We Know about Change’ event in December 2010. In April 2011 and October 2011 the group will monitor progress on issues including:

  • The number of people visiting A&E  in mental health crisis, who reported having to wait longer than 4 hours before being assessed by a doctor
  • The number of people visiting A&E who were satisfied with the level of information they received about their care pathway.

The group also raised a range of other issues with the Committee, including the continued practice of admitting young people to adult wards and problems with the new ‘One point of referral’ system that the Belfast Trust has put in place as an alternative to A&E. The Committee also agreed to send on any information on the Card Before You Leave system which they receive from the Department, following their briefing to the Committee on the Protect Life Suicide Strategy on 17th February 2011. 

The BMHRG’s visit to the Committee received press coverage which can be viewed here.