Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew said today that the recruitment and retention of health workers is critical to efforts to tackle waiting lists and providing the widest range of health services possible.
Speaking following reports about the number of nurses currently leaving the service the Sinn Féin health spokesperson said:
“Recruiting and retaining staff is critical, especially at a time when there is already a shortage of staff in the health and social care system and waiting lists are lengthening.
“Only this year the Department of Health admitted it would not be taking forward legislation on safe staffing levels. This was deeply regrettable, and the department must make safe staffing a priority.
“Sinn Féin has raised the need to provide additional and practical measures to better support staff including access to psychological services and accommodation for those who have been redeployed.
“The reported ratio of staff leaving the profession compared to those who change positions is deeply concerning.
“If there are less staff to run services waiting lists will continue to grow and patients’ outcomes will be negatively affected.
“It’s not enough for the Department of Health to simply track the number of nurses leaving the Health Service, it also needs to do more to retain Health and Social Care staff.”