Durkan ‘hopeful’ on Northlands funding

Mark H Durkan
Mark H Durkan

A Derry MLA says he’s “hopeful” a local addiction treatment centre can have £50,000 in annual funding restored.

The SDLP’s Mark H Durkan has called for “enhanced collaboration and communication” between the Departments of Health and Social Development as efforts continue to secure the money for the Northlands Addiction Treatment Centre.

Mr Durkan said: “This week, I convened a meeting between Northlands, the Regulation Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and the Housing Executive with a view to addressing the bureaucratic anomaly that has resulted in the loss to Northlands of more than £50,000 funding per year.

“Everybody in the North West knows the work done by Northlands in helping people overcome addiction problems. Sadly, the need for these services is huge and ever-increasing.

“Therefore, is it both illogical and unacceptable that funding has been withdrawn on a technicality around the classification of the care provided.”

Mr. Durkan says Northlands has had to register with the RQIA as a ‘residential care facility’ despite the fact that 90% of its work is carried out on a non-residential basis.

As a result, the centre has been deemed ineligible for funding from the Housing Executive’s Supporting People Programme.

“This demonstrates to me a distinct lack of communication between two public bodies with too much focus on regulation rather than on much needed service provision which is paramount,” said the Foyle MLA.

“I am hopeful, following Tuesday’s meeting, that, through collaboration between Northlands, the Housing Executive and RQIA, this issue can be resolved.”