Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has cautioned that the ongoing failure to form an Executive is causing great uncertainty for both users of and workers within the Health Service.
The South Belfast MLA referenced the recent suggestion that ongoing staffing difficulties could lead to the temporary closure of Newry’s only Emergency Department as an issue an Executive is needed to contend with.
She said: “I am extremely concerned that the absence of a devolved Executive is leading to huge uncertainty and great difficulty in meeting staffing requirements to meet demand in our Health Service. Daisy Hill in Newry is the current outstanding example, but there will increasingly be others if we do not get the institutions operating.
“I will be meeting nursing representatives and speaking to concerned local interests in Newry this week to see what I can do in my role as an MLA to assist. Of course, this is greatly hindered by the fact there is no Minister to give clear direction.
“I want to understand from staff in Newry and elsewhere exactly what the position is and what actions are needed, and will attend a public meeting there on Monday. I have also written to the Trust to seek an update.
“I am convinced that one issue which will be prominently raised is political instability. Once again, I would call on the two parties currently stalling on doing what is necessary to secure immediate Executive formation to reflect on what this means for people’s daily lives, particularly those who work in or rely upon the Health Service.”