Royal College of Physicians report reinforces urgent need for workforce planning – Bradshaw

Alliance Health Spokesperson Danny Donnelly has said that a Royal College of Physicians report on the experience of consultants working in the Northern Ireland healthcare system reinforces the need for comprehensive workforce planning to ensure posts are filled and conditions are improved.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the report at Stormont today, the East Antrim MLA said: "It is well known that workforce planning is a significant weakness of the health and social care system currently, and the number of consultants reporting issues with workloads, excessive hours and gaps in rota reinforce just how important it is to fix this.

"The vast majority of consultants in Northern Ireland routinely work above contracted hours and very few are in control of their workload. This has an impact not just on the consultants themselves, but on standards of patient care and patient safety.”

Paula Bradshaw MLA added: "This is an issue, therefore, which has a potential impact on all of us. It is vital that we put in place systems to ensure that vacancies are filled and that, consequently, workloads are reduced to a reasonable level and pay and conditions are enhanced.

"We can see clearly from this report that consultants are keen to work within the system and that they see their roles, justifiably, as a vocation. However, currently, the system is letting them, and their patients, down."