HC Deb 19 March 1998 vol 308 c725W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will increase funding for the counselling of sex abuse survivors; and if she will make a statement on the waiting times presently experienced for such counselling at the Nexus Institute. [34617]

Mr. Worthington

The Department of Health and Social Services does not allocate funds to Health and Social Services Boards specifically for the purposes of counselling victims of sexual abuse. The amounts to be committed for such purposes are matters for the Boards to decide within the context of their overall resource allocations and their priorities for the provision of services within their areas.

The lengths of the waiting lists for counselling by the NEXUS Institute are a matter of concern to the Department. However, a new counsellor training programme was launched by NEXUS in 1997 and it is hoped that this will have a significant impact later this year in reducing the waiting lists.