Department warns of major health cuts

THE Department of Health has announced today that not only is it not in a position to offer local NHS workers a pay rise, it has also warned we are “potentially facing high impact cuts on health and social care services”, due to the lack of a Stormont budget.
Health workers here are getting set to strike again in the coming days after it was confirmed a long overdue pay rise offered to their colleagues across the sea in Britain will not be extended here due to the continued suspension of the Assembly.
This week Westminster Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced an NHS pay offer for workers in England, Scotland and Wales. involves two one-off payments this year, worth up to £3,789 depending on the salary band, as well as a 5 per cent consolidated pay increase for 2023-24.
Workers in the North, however, will not be eligible for these payments and increases.
Today, the Department of Health here released the following statement, “The Department regrets the industrial action in health and social care and the inevitable disruption it will cause across a range of services.
“Latest information on impacts from the action will be available on HSC Trust websites.
“The Department fully understands the frustrations of staff and the severe challenges they have been working under.
“As things stand, the Department is not in a position make a formal pay offer.
“This reflects the current absence of a budget for 2023/24 and the expectation of a significant financial shortfall.
“We are potentially facing high impact cuts on health and social care services that are already under considerable pressure.
“We are seeking clarification from the UK Government on Barnett consequentials for Northern Ireland from the proposed pay settlement in England. This will help inform ongoing engagement with trade union colleagues.”

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