The South Belfast MLA said the legislation could cover a range of issues, which would demonstrate the Department and others were promoting the welfare of all health and social care workers. She added it would mean higher quality service provision and better outcomes for the public.
“Fundamentally, this is about ensuring the right people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time. This will be accompanied by an open and honest culture which delivers safe and appropriate staffing and better outcomes,” she said.
“Potentially, this could also deliver a legislative framework to stop huge amounts being paid to agencies to provide cover in areas such as nursing, with that money re-allocated to improved pay and conditions for staff themselves. This will encourage recruitment and retention of people with the necessary skills.
“Alliance recently published an update to its Fighting Fit policy document, around actions needing to be taken to help the health service tackle winter pressures in the health service. Delivery of fair pay and promotion of staff well-being are essential to that, and would lead to a service which provides the best possible outcomes to the public. We should be pursuing every step towards this goal with urgency.”