Nuffield trust study on Northern Ireland Health & Social Care confirms damaging impact of protracted political failure

Unite Conference 106

Local political leaders are held responsible for worst waiting lists in the UK and failure to deliver needed reform

Crisis in Northern Ireland health and social care must be addressed through investment and NHS pay equalisation

July 10th: Kevin McAdam, Unite Regional Officer responded to a study of the challenges facing Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care system conducted by the Nuffield Trust:

“We note with interest the very detailed report from Nuffield. Once again we have evidence of how our lack of government due to protracted political failure is damaging our people’s health.

“This report also highlights the almost obsessive nature to centralise NHS services, Unite believes this is being done primarily on a cost basis and the continuous need to enforce savings rather than focusing on eliminating waste, investing in existing resources and properly remunerating staff. It highlights the rush towards centralisation and rationing for the purpose of making savings rather than developing services.

“The reality that funding for community care has failed to materialise despite the desire of all to shift towards such provision and the huge levels of dependency on agency workers across the service particularly in doctors and nurses. Much of the current crisis could be avoided through progressive reform. There is widespread demotivation of staff rooted in the failure of the Department to match the recent pay and conditions of colleagues across the rest of the UK.

“We must aim to attract staff on permanent and decent contracts and make our Health and Social Care system an employer of choice. The workforce planning recently developed in 2018 – probably ten years too late – needs fast tracked and invested in if we are to deliver the quality of care expected and deserved by the Northern Ireland public”, Mr McAdam concluded.

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