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Northern Ireland: Forming an Executive is vital to protect patients

Nursing leaders are to write to Northern Ireland's Secretary of State Brandon Lewis over the failure to establish an Executive and the risk this poses to patients.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) congress has passed a motion calling for all political parties and the UK Government to commit to the immediate formation of a fully functioning Executive and Assembly.

Fiona Devlin, chair of the RCN Northern Ireland board, brought the matter to the congress and said the move represents the deep level of concern in the profession.

“There is a responsibility to speak up when patients are coming to harm,” she said.

“The health service is about to completely tip over the edge. We felt we did everything we could to communicate our concerns before the elections, and since then, nothing has changed.

“The system is crumbling minute by minute, we have the worst waiting lists in the UK, our emergency departments are completely overstretched, primary care and the independent sector are in crisis.

“Patients can’t be decanted out of ambulances into emergency departments because there’s no room in the hospitals and they’re dying in the back of ambulances.

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Source: Belfast Times, 8 June 2022


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