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The doctors behind the debate: Royal Colleges launch briefing paper in Northern Ireland

18 Oct 2023

A new briefing paper was launched at our drop-in event in Stormont, Northern Ireland on 11 October, hosted jointly by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

It is the latest in a series of joint papers produced by the three UK Royal Colleges of Physicians, calling on assembly members to return to Stormont, form a new Executive and approve a multi-year budget for health and care.

We were delighted to welcome consultants, SAS doctors, trainees and medical students to share in the discussion with assembly members on over 50 recommendations, which aim to improve staff wellbeing, retention and recruitment across Northern Ireland. The briefing paper emphasises the importance of action on these proposals for health professionals in all career stages.

The launch reflected strong cross-party support for addressing challenges in healthcare, most notably, in tackling workforce shortages. Thirty-eight per cent of consultant physicians are expected to reach their intended retirement age within the next decade, and this is likely to remove more than 200 doctors from the medical workforce by 2032. Without enough doctors in training staying in Northern Ireland to replace them, workforce shortages will continue to worsen, leading to even tougher working conditions.

The three Royal Colleges of Physicians continue to work together to advocate on behalf of patients and our Fellows and Members, campaigning for improvements in patient care and public health. Together we represent around 50,000 physicians worldwide, including around 1,000 fellows and members in Northern Ireland. Our collaborative approach reflects shared concerns about the challenges facing healthcare in Northern Ireland.

To read the full briefing paper, please click here.

Category: Workforce

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A healthy healthcare workforce is essential for patient care. When the workforce is exhausted, experiencing burnout, and struggling to balance their work and personal lives, it impacts on everyone.
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We are committed to standing up for equality, diversity and inclusion. We want our College to reflect the diversity in the NHS workforce and in the patients that we care for.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of healthcare professionals, and the urgent need to learn whilemfocusing on delivering the best care for our patients has been an enormous challenge.
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