‘1,300 health jobs at risk’, RCN claims

Up to 1,300 health and social care jobs could be at risk in Northern Ireland as a result of public expenditure cuts and efficiency targets.

The warning comes from the Royal College of Nursing which is launching its UK-wide Frontline First campaign to highlight the threat to services.

It says the 1,300 jobs would likely include 500 nursing posts.

The Department of Health recently announced a 2% cut in the Health and Social care pay bill.

The RCN’s director of nursing, Janice Smyth, said it was paramount that the health trusts engage with those delivering frontline services as they know best where the efficiencies can be made.

The Health Department’s policy of no longer using bank or agency staff means that increasingly nurses are not being replaced when gaps appear in a rota due to sickness or maternity, the RCN added.