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RCN sets up mental health network in Northern Ireland

Mental health nurses in Northern Ireland will be able to join network launched by the RCN

RCN Northern Ireland is setting up a members' network to raise the profile of mental health nursing.

RCN professional lead for mental health nursing Ian Hulatt was a guest speaker at today’s network launch in Belfast. He said the group could help nurses navigate any changes to legislation such as the Mental Capacity Bill, which completed its final stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly last month.

The bill, which will bring mental health and mental capacity law under a single piece of legislation, aims to recognise every adult’s right to make decisions for themselves if they have capacity.

Mr Hulatt explained: ‘Mental health nurses who are facing big changes in Northern Ireland will benefit from a mental health network and can discuss how new legislation will be delivered in practice.’

Speaking as the bill completed its final stage, Stormont justice minister David Ford said: ‘The bill’s powers respect a person’s right to make decisions about whether they wish to receive healthcare treatment, while ensuring the criminal justice system continues to have robust mechanisms for safeguarding public protection.’

The bill is a response to a recommendation in the Bamford Review of mental health and learning disability in Northern Ireland.

For more information on the RCN mental health network, which will work with the existing RCN mental health nursing forum, email rosaline.kelly@rcn.org.uk or call 028 9038 4600.

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