Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has described an allocation of £15 million to address workforce challenges in the health service as a step in the right direction but warned there is still a long way to go.
Nearly 100 extra nurses and midwives will be recruited due to the money but Ms Bradshaw said it needed to be coupled with other plans to help the health service.
“The extra money is naturally welcome. This is designed not just to improve capacity, but in fact to improve working conditions for those already in the health service,” she said.
“This is a step in the right direction, but it is only that. We continue to have a crisis in primary care where we cannot attract enough people, we continue to lack pay parity, and if waiting lists are not tackled urgently we will be left with too few staff even if numbers are increased.
“The development and implementation of the overall workforce strategy through to 2026 continues to be vital if we are to sustain a health service fit for purpose through the next decade.”