New workforce strategy for Northern Ireland

By Julie Griffiths on 15 May 2018 Northern Ireland Midwifery Workforce

A long-term strategy for Northern Ireland’s health and social care workforce was launched yesterday (14 May) by the Department of Health.

The strategy document Health and social care workforce strategy 2026: delivering for our people includes a detailed look at the workforce problems and challenges facing health and social care in Northern Ireland.

It also sets out goals to help staff to deliver ‘world-class health and social care’ and addresses the need to tackle serious challenges with supply, recruitment and retention of staff.

RCM director for Northern Ireland Breedagh Hughes said: ‘The RCM welcomes the publication of this strategy and in particular achieving parity of esteem for mental health services, as the RCM has campaigned for improved perinatal mental health services in Northern Ireland for many years.

‘We are also pleased that midwifery-specific workforce challenges, such as recruitment, retention and retirement, have been highlighted as fundamental issues that must be tackled.’

Multidisciplinary working has also been identified as a key priority, along with having health and social care teams that have the right mix of skills – something the RCM advocates for and supports.

Breedagh added that the RCM looks forward to working with the Department of Health on delivering the strategy and hopes that the absence of a government in Northern Ireland does not the delay the implementation.

The Department of Health also confirmed details of an initial allocation of £15m in workforce development, from the £100m transformation fund for 2018-19.

The new workforce strategy is available here.