In collaboration with the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care, the HSC Chairs’ Forum, which comprises the chairs of Northern Ireland’s 17 Department of Health Arm's-Length Bodies, submitted a response to the Department of Finance's draft budget 2021/22 consultation outlining their key concerns. In the response, the forum argues that:
- additional funding is required to put health and social care (HSC) organisations into recurrent financial balance and to meet any inescapable pressures in 2021/22
- HSC organisations cannot continue to rely on in-year non-recurrent funds; instead recurrent multi-year budgets are needed to improve financial resilience and planning
- additional recurrent funding, alongside transformation, is needed to enhance hospital and community services to build resilience in our HSC system
- radical reform in the way elective care is delivered in NI, alongside sustained and substantial investment in workforce and infrastructure, will be required to tackle NI’s unacceptable waiting times. Immediate steps are needed to commission and fund additional medical and nursing training places.