Northern Ireland: NHS job vacancies could be double number reported

03 October 2018

The true number of empty posts in the health system could be nearly double the number previously reported by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).

Valerie Watts, chief executive of the HSCB, said that there were around 1800 job vacancies at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. But the HSCB later admitted that those figures were incorrect and would be amended – the total could be as high as 3500.

Unite lead officer for health Kevin McAdam said the health system needed ‘a reality check’: ‘Northern Ireland received funding of over £300m for a restructuring of pay scales and improvements to poverty pay that would go a long way to addressing recruitment and retention difficulties.

‘The department continues to use the absence of a locally accountable health minister to justify the delay in entering meaningful negotiations.’

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