Commenting on a new report by the Audit Office, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Councillor Sandra Duffy said:
“The recent Audit Office follow up report into the use of Locum Doctors and patient safety highlights the ongoing challenges to our health and social care system.
“The transformation of our health service need to address these core challenges of workforce pressures and ensuring high quality safe services that deliver better health outcomes.
“The increasing use of Locum staff and the rising cost to provide these services is unsustainable.
“It is why we need to invest in growing our workforce through additional training places and in how we retain staff – this was a central theme of the Delivering Together action plan to transform our health services as developed by Michelle O’Neill.
“The report goes on to highlight some progress in how adverse incidents and serious adverse incidents are handled but there is still a considerable way to go to fully address this issue.
“High profile failings around the Hyponatremia Inquiry, Dunmurry Manor, the Neurology recall and issues at Muckamore Abbey Hospital has made it clear that there is still a considerable way to go to improve transparency and accountability within the health service. This is the very least these patients and families are entitled to.
“Sinn Féin will be raising this issue directly with the Department of Health and seeking an update on how it is progressing its workforce strategy, the North West Medical School and developing a duty of candour.”