North Antrim UUP MLA Robin Swann has challenged the Stormont health minister to “give a solid guarantee that funding will be made available to implement a strategy warning about the dangers of accidents in the home”.
Mr Swann’s challenge to the Minister came after he asked him to detail the amount of funding he will provide to Home and Accident Prevention Northern Ireland to support their work which supports his newly launched Home Accident Prevention Strategy.
Responding to Mr Swann, the Minister said: “No additional funding has been allocated to HAPNI to support the implementation of the strategy, rather it is expected that better use will be made of existing funds from a range of sectors, for example, channelling investment through the core Health Visiting Programme or Family Support Hubs for children and young people, or through the Creating Caring Communities work for older people.
“PHA delivers the home accident prevention agenda in partnership with local councils, Trusts, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, HAPNI and others.
“Both PHA and local government invest significantly in a Home Safety Check Scheme which is delivered by Home Safety Officers. The scheme includes advice and information as well as the supply of home safety equipment.
“The scheme is highlighted in the Home Accident Prevention Strategy. The model of delivering this programme of work is part of ongoing discussions with the new Councils to agree priorities for partnership working,” the Minister said.
This prompted Mr Swann to ask the Minister to detail the financial support his Department has provided to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for Home Accident Prevention in each of the last three years; the amount awarded for this year; and the amount proposed for the next financial year.
The Minister added that his Department “hopes to be in a position to advise voluntary and community sector organisations about 2015/16 funding decisions in the near future”.