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Clarification sought over suspension of mental health services

FERMANAGH and Omagh District Council (FODC) is to seek “urgent clarification” over the suspension of mental health services at a facility run by the Western Trust in Omagh.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the local authority on Tuesday night, independent member, Dr Jo Deehan, said she wanted to bring the closure of day care provision services at Lisnamallard to the attention of the council.

The Omagh GP said, “These were day care services provided for patients with severe and enduring mental health problems.

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“Initially these services were suspended because of Covid, ostensibly, but now we learn they have been permanently closed.”

Dr Deehan proposed writing to Western Trust chief executive, Dr Anne Kilgallen, asking her for clarification on why these services had been closed.

Formally seconding the GP’s proposal, fellow independent councillor, Donal O’Cofaigh, said that the closure of any health facility in the Fermanagh and Omagh area had to be opposed.

He said, “There is no excuse potentially for using the Covid crisis as a cloak for wider restructuring or rationing of services under austerity.”

There was unanimous backing for Dr Deehan’s proposal to write and seek urgent clarification about the reinstatement of services at the Omagh facility.

UUP councillor, Bert Wilson, told the meeting that quite a lot of people that used Lisnamallard were “really missing” the services it provided.

He praised the staff and said there had been a “family atmosphere”.

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Mr Wilson added, “I do believe the services need to be reinstated.”

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