The Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed arrangements for delivery of Lifeline, Northern Ireland’s crisis response helpline service, beyond April this year.
The current contractor, Contact (Northern Ireland), had decided not to accept the offer of extension after March 2018 and with PHA unable to source a suitable alternative provider, arrangements are being made to transition the Lifeline service across to Health and Social Care (HSC) for an interim period.
The PHA has confirmed Belfast Health and Social Care Trust will take the lead on behalf of the HSC and frontline staff who currently deliver the Lifeline service will transfer to Belfast Trust.
It is anticpated the service will continue to operate according to the same model with the same level of service.
A spokesperson said: “In delivering the Lifeline service, the PHA and the wider HSC will work to ensure that when anyone across Northern Ireland contacts Lifeline, they will receive the necessary level of support they require.
“The further development of the Lifeline service remains a key priority for the PHA in the fight against suicide and self-harm both now and in the future. Lifeline will continue to deliver a high-quality 24/7 service for people in distress or despair and will remain available on 0808 808 8000.”