29 Jun 2007

NICCY meets health minister

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, has told Health Minister Michael McGimpsey that the new Northern Ireland Executive can make a difference to children’s health and wellbeing.

After a meeting with the Minister, the Commissioner said the new Executive and Assembly have the potential to address issues that are affecting children and young people today.

“It was important for me to meet the minister and emphasise some of the key issues facing children in health and personal social services,” said Ms Lewsley.

“I took the opportunity to advise the minister and his team that there is a need to build on existing good practice, rather than applying temporary solutions to many of the issues raised, for example child and adolescent mental health services.

“While there is good practice in some areas of Northern Ireland – each community and individual child has differing needs. 

“I also believe that it is a time to look hard at how health and personal social services is resourced and take on board information front line staff and children and young people tell us.”

The Minister has agreed to meet with the Commissioner on a regular basis.

“I believe it is important for me as Commissioner to monitor progress and advise the minister, as children’s lives pass by so quickly – they cannot afford to wait,” she said.