On Tuesday 11 March, HCSA Officer Rob Quick joined a small delegation from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Northern Ireland Committee, to meet with Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer of the Province. Rob joined officials from a number of health unions. During the two hour meeting, which took place in the Government offices in Stormont, a number of important topics were covered.
Dr McBride was keen to involve trade unions in the soon to be published public health agenda which he was hoping to put before the NI Executive in the next few weeks. The impact of Transforming Your Care (TYC) was also discussed.
The most important discussion focused on the recent press reports of A & E crisis, bed reductions and the shortage of doctors. There was clear acknowledgement that there is a shortage of doctors in Northern Ireland and this had clear consequences for the delivery of front line services. Rob told the CMO that what was needed was a workforce plan for medical staffing in the Province, looking at new ways of working and engaging with the medical and wider workforce.
Rob said: “This was an important opportunity for HCSA to be at the table, engaging with senior leaders in the Northern Ireland NHS.”