Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has raised concerns over the decision taken by the Department of Health to cut £1m to funding for training specialist nurses.
“The cut to training is counter to the transformation agenda set forth by the Professor Bengoa’s Expert Panel report and my Sinn Féin colleague, former Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill.
“Everyone recognises the clear need to increase the capacity of HSC staff to meet ever-growing demands placed on the health service. Cutting resources for specialist training for nurses goes against this.
“I have particular concerns that the commitments made in Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together plan, namely the allocation of a District Nurse and Health Visitors to every GP practice is being abandoned by the Department of Health. This undermines efforts to deliver multi-disciplinary teams in primary care at a time when GPs are under increasing pressure.
“Furthermore it seems that a central pillar of the transformation process prioritised by Minister O’Neill, which is to involve those who deliver and use HSC services in designing transformation, has been ignored with a decision being made without proper engagement from the department.
“I would encourage the Department of Health to engage meaningfully with nurse and other representative bodies to explore the potential implications before making such a decision.”