Concerns rising over Departmental failure to plan around nursing shortage

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has warned that concerns are rising the Department of Health has not prepared adequately to address ongoing nursing shortages – and again demanded a Health Minister be put in place to take action.

The South Belfast MLA cautioned: “I wrote to the Department earlier this month to ask what its workforce planning policy is, particularly with further restrictions on recruiting from outside the UK potentially only eighteen months away.

“There are also significant concerns about the rising costs of using Agencies, some of which now seem to be involved in blatant profiteering.

“The issues involved are complex but what we have never had is time. Action is required now by the Department to put in a comprehensive workforce plan with full contingencies; and we must also have a Minister in place swiftly to address the agency issue and others.

“Otherwise the drive towards a two-tier Health Service will continue unabated.”

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