Trust confirms learning disability services funding

Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney.
Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney.

The Western Trust has confirmed that it will reinstate £8m funding for Learning Disability Services by the 2018/19 financial year.

The confirmation comes after a major campaign led by the Western Learning Disability Action Gro up and supported by politicians, after it emerged that millions every year allocated for learning disability services was being redirected into other health and social care areas.

A spokesperson for the Western Trust said: “The Trust confirms that by the 2018/19 financial year, £8million of new funding will be invested into the Western Trust’s Learning Disability budget.

“The Trust has worked closely with the Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board and Carers Forums in securing this investment and would like to thank them for their continued support and input.”

Earlier this week, Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said the Trust had confirmed the reinstatement of funding furing a meeting.

He said: “I want to congratulate all those parents and organisations that worked to get a resolution to this problem. Services to people with learning disabilities have been greatly impacted by the underfunding in the past. I look forward to people getting access to better services and facilities in the future.”

Former Health Minister Michelle O’Neill had vowed to closely monitor the Western Trust’s commitment to address the £8m a year funding deficit for learning disability services.