Derry teenager says meeting with Trust on Derry addiction services ‘positive’

Derry Detox Centre campaigner Tamzin White has met with representatives from the Western Trust, in a meeting she has described as ‘positive’.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 4:56 pm

The 18-year-old has been campaigning for the centre following the death of her mother, Louise, who had battled addiction, in January.

Tamzin has also lost other family members to addiction and mental illness and sought a meeting with Minister for Health Robin Swann on the need for greater services for the North West.

Mr Swann said he could not meet Tamzin due to diary pressures but asked Dr Anne Kilgallen, Chief Executive of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, to engage with her.

Derry Detox facility campaigner Tamzin White with Foyle MLA Karen Mullan and Councillor Emmet Doyle.

Tamzin was accompanied by MLA Karen Mullan and Colr. Emmet Doyle on Thursday as she met Ms Kilgallen and other Trust representatives including Karen O’Brien, Director of Adult Mental Health Services; Liam Dunne, Head of Service; Scott Payne, Consultant, Addiction and Psychiatry and Chris Curran, Communications.

Speaking afterwards, Tamzin said the meeting went well and while the services in place were outlined, she still feels they are not sufficient.

“They said there are services there and it is felt that those in place are enough. But, I don’t agree. There are waiting lists and there wouldn’t be if there were enough services.”

Tamzin welcomed the fact it was decided to ‘reopen my mammy’s case, to look at her journey and what can be improved.’ “That’s a positive, that they’re going to learn from what happened my mammy and look at what could have been done.”

She added how she was ‘shocked’ to learn there is ‘only one detox nurse in the north and one in the south - that is far from enough.’

While ‘grateful’ to have met with the Trust representatives, Tamzin still wants to meet with Mr Swann.

An online public meeting on the call for a detox centre is to be held on April 7. See derrydemandsadetoxcentre on Facebook for details.

Foyle MLA Karen Mullan recently presented a petition, signed by almost 10,000 people and launched by Tamzin after her mother’s death, to Health Minister Robin Swann at Stormont.

Councillor Emmet Doyle meanwhile has tabled and motion and spoken in support of the campaign in the Council Chamber.