Unconscionable to leave health system without clear leadership during severe winter ahead, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said it is unconscionable to leave the health system without clear political leadership over the coming months, after the Minister outlined the severe pressures facing it this winter.

Health Paula Bradshaw

Robin Swann said the health and social care system is facing another ‘extremely difficult winter’. Ms Bradshaw said his statement gave clarity around some of the immense challenges ahead.

“There are some positives contained within it, such as around day procedure centres and the utilisation of all available facilities in Northern Ireland to maximise capacity,” she said.

“However, the vast array of issues in primary care, social care and community pharmacy are only touched upon even by this statement. Other actions notified in this statement are welcome, but are too late to have an impact over the coming months. What is in fact required is a comprehensive Executive plan across all Departments, focused on patients, service users and the population as a whole to promote well-being, prevent ill-health and provide rapid response throughout the months of crisis which lie ahead.

“Alliance has advocated more rapid transformation to a model based around promoting health across the whole population, better pay and conditions for staff, and constant attention to service improvement and patient safety.

“It is unconscionable any other party, rather than contributing to the task of supporting and helping people through the troubling period ahead, would be ignoring its responsibilities and instead playing electoral politics at the precise moment when people desperately need parties working together in the public interest, not least to ensure the health system can continue to provide vital treatment and support under unprecedented pressure.

“This statement is a further reminder what people in Northern Ireland need is a government, not yet another election.”