‘Health service vacancies are crippling’ - Sheehan
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Pat Sheehan has said new figures highlight the crippling impact of vacancies across the health service.
Figures recently released by the department show that there are over 6,000 vacancies being actively recruited across the health service.
Pat Sheehan said:
“This only shows the scale of those vacancies that are being actively recruited. The true scale of the workforce issues is not represented in these figures.
“There are nearly 2,000 additional vacancies being recruited since the same time last year with the vacancies covering all trusts and roles. This includes Registered Nurses, Social Carer workers, admin staff, allied health professionals and doctors.
“We know that following the Brexit vote the number of registered nurses coming to the north from the EU has reduced sharply.
“Ensuring capacity in the health and social care workforce is fundamental to delivering existing front line services.
“Michelle O’Neill as Health Minister substantially increased the number of nurse training places here in the north to help address these shortages. However in the immediate and short-term the Department of Health must focus its efforts on retaining staff and attracting qualified nurses to work in the HSC.
"This is made all the more difficult with Brexit looming large in the coming months.
"In many ways it feels like one step forward and two steps back with regards to Brexit and its negative impact on recruitment and retention of workforce.”