Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Southern Health and Social Services Board Trauma Advisory Panel

  The Troubles in Northern Ireland has had a negative impact on the physical, psychological, health and well-being of the population. Individuals, families and communities have experienced bereavement, injury, displacement, loss and fear which have resulted in varied, complex and intergenerational responses.

  Within the Southern Health and Social Services Board (SHSSB) the Trauma Advisory Panel (TAP) has been seeking to address the additional health and social problems caused by the Troubles. The Trauma Advisory Panel was established in 1999 in response to recommendations made by the Bloomfield Report (1998) "We Will Remember Them" and the Social Services Inspectorate Report (1998) "Living with the Trauma of the Troubles". Its role was further developed in the victims' strategy "Reshape, Rebuild, Achieve" launched in April 2002. This strategy made funding available to appoint a Coordinator to develop and support the work of the TAP.


  The Trauma Advisory Panel strives to enhance the quality of life for victims/survivors of the conflict by recognising, acknowledging and respecting their varied needs and seeking to promote the provision of appropriate support services.


  To provide a forum where the impact of the Troubles on the whole community is acknowledged.

  To represent the needs and views of groups and individuals affected by the Troubles.

  To make statutory bodies more aware of and responsive to these needs through the participation of their representatives on the Panel.

  To improve service delivery to people affected by the Troubles in a sustained and focused way.

  To make the views of those who have no other voice known to agencies and policy makers.

  To develop an effective communications strategy.

  To provide networking and training opportunities for Panel members and other relevant agencies.


  These aims are achieved through working in partnership with all stakeholders, hosting regular meetings, facilitating consultation, networking and training events. The following examples indicate the ongoing work of the Panel:

    —  The Panel has been instrumental in developing a Troubles related counselling service which provides specialist support and counselling to people affected by the Troubles in a neutral, confidential environment. The service is available to assist relatives and victims deal with the impact of exposure to traumatic stress. The professionally qualified, accredited counsellors are employed on a part time basis within each of the three Health and Social Services Trusts of the Southern Health and Social Services Board.

    —  In order to address the need for improved communication an Information Directory of Services for People Affected by the Troubles has been published and widely distributed. The first edition of the Panel newsletter "Tapping In" was published in November 2004, further editions will be published on a quarterly basis.

    —  The Panel has made statutory bodies more aware of and responsive to victim/survivor needs through influencing policy developments and participation in consultations and conferences. Providing support and appropriate signposting to individuals and groups is an ongoing part of the work of the Panel.

    —  In partnership with Armagh and Banbridge Local Strategy Partnerships the Panel has secured funding to employ a Development Worker to provide networking opportunities and capacity building training for victim/survivor groups to enhance quality standards.

  The Panel has also been successful in securing funding from the Victims Strategy Implementation Fund:

    (1)  To increase the effectiveness and profile of the Trauma Advisory Panel through capacity building of members, increased participation, facilitating of events and networking.

    (2)  To conduct research based on an analysis and evaluation of the work of the Trauma Counselling Service.

    (3)  To increase awareness and understanding among Health and Social Services staff of the impact of the Troubles on the health and well-being of individuals and thereby enhance service delivery to victims/survivors.

  The Southern Health and Social Services Board Trauma Advisory Panel have initiated these developments in response to the needs of victims/survivors of the Troubles, in an attempt to address the gaps in services for the population of the Southern Health and Social Services Board. Future plans require a regional strategic framework which would contribute to greater coordination, communication and access to services in all areas.


  The Panel acts as a networking forum where the impact of the Troubles on all the residents of the Southern Health and Social Services Board is acknowledged. In order to carry out this important work the Panel has agreed ground rules, boundaries and basic rules for engagement, which facilitate dialogue and constructive debate.


    —  Mr Albert Hewitt, Wave Trauma Centre, Armagh

    —  Ms Reatha Hassan, SAVER/NAVER (South/North Armagh Victims Encouraging Recognition), Markethill

    —  Mr Pat Maginn, Cumann na Meirleach, (ex-prisoner group) South Armagh

    —  Mr William Wilkinson, FAIR, (Families Acting for Innocent Relatives) Markethill

    —  Mr Gareth Porter, HURT, (Homes United against Ruthless Terrorism)

    —  Ms Shauneen Baker, Relatives for Justice, Belfast

    —  Mr Alan Brecknell, SAOL, (South Armagh Overcoming Loss) Cullyhanna

    —  Ms Janet Hunter, FACT, (Families Achieving Change Together), Lisburn

    —  Ms Pauline Rice, sub committee for victims/survivors on behalf of South Tyrone Area Parnership


    —  Ms Margaret Phillips, CRUSE Bereavement Care, Newry

    —  Ms Joan Kenmuir, Samaritans

    —  Ms Kay Barrie, Victim Support, Lurgan

    —  Mr Martin Murphy, NOVA, Craigavon

    —  Mr Ian Bothwell, Crossfire Trust, Keady

    —  Ms Norma McConville, Community Dialogue

    —  Ms Ann Boal, Disabled Police Officers Association, Carrickfergus

    —  Ms Lesley Hamilton, Second Chance Programme, Armagh College

    —  Rosemarie McDonnell, Victim Support, Newry


    —  Canon John McKegney, Church of Ireland

    —  Father Eamon McCreave OFM, Catholic Church

    —  Mrs Helen Rogers, Presbyterian Church

    —  Reverend David Clements, Methodist Church


    —  Ms Marion Corrigan, Department of Social Care, SHSSB, Chair of Panel

    —  Ms Cathy McPhillips, Armagh and Dungannon Health and Social Services Trust

    —  Mr Laurence Evans, Newry and Mourne Health and Social Services Trust,

    —  Ms Thelma Byrne Craigavon and Banbridge Community Health and Social Services Trust

    —  Dr Stephen Bergin, Public Health Department, Southern Health and Social Services Board

    —  Ms Eileen Donnelly, Southern Education and Library Board

    —  Ms Sharon Haughey, Northern Ireland Housing Executive

    —  Ms Debbie Taylor, Social Security Agency

    —  Dr M Murray, GP, Loughbrickland


    —  Ms Joanne Morgan, Banbridge Local Strategy Partnership

    —  Ms Denise O'Hare, Armagh Local Strategy Partnership


    —  Ms Clare Quigley, Trauma Advisory Panel Coordinator

    —  Mr Pat Murphy, Trauma Advisory Panel Development Worker

    —  Ms Elaine Cranney, Trauma Advisory Panel Administrator

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