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Social workers call on Northern Ireland politicians to demonstrate leadership by accepting compromise

Two major political parties in Northern Ireland asked to accept the need for compromise to establish a power-sharing Executive.

At its UK Annual General Meeting held this week in Cardiff, the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) passed a motion calling on the two major political parties in Northern Ireland to accept the need for compromise to establish a power-sharing Executive.

The motion reflected BASW members’ concerns regarding the negative impact on health and social care services, organisations and staff resulting from the ongoing hiatus in ministerial planning and decision making.

Speaking following the meeting, BASW Northern Ireland Chair, Colin Reid said: “It is absolutely essential that Northern Ireland has an Executive and functioning Assembly. Since January 2017 we have been without the political leadership needed to address the significant and increasing pressures facing our health and social care system.

“Of immediate concern for our profession is the lack of Ministerial oversight concerning plans for social workers to work alongside GPs, pharmacists and physiotherapists in new multidisciplinary primary care teams.  Ministerial accountability is also required for the key decisions that must be taken to reform the provision of adult social care to ensure the long-term sustainability of services”.

Mr Reid concluded by saying: “Social workers understand the importance of reaching out to others and working in often challenging circumstances. I call on our political parties to show leadership by having the courage to make compromises to break the current deadlock, and to move forward in an ongoing spirit of cooperation, ensuring people living in Northern Ireland receive high quality health and social care services.”

Notes to Editors

  • Colin Reid, BASW Northern Ireland Chair will be available for interview.
  • The British Association Social Workers (BASW), the largest professional body for social workers in the UK. The Association has 21,000 members employed in frontline, management, academic and research positions in all care settings.
  • The full text of the motion is as follows:

 

This Annual General Meeting believes the two major political parties in Northern Ireland must demonstrate leadership and accept the need for compromise to establish a Northern Ireland Executive and end the ministerial hiatus in planning and decision making that is negatively impacting health and social care services, organisations and staff.

 

We call on BASW to mandate staff and members to campaign in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and at Westminster to bring the appropriate pressure to bear.

Contact

Andy McClenaghan, Public Affairs and Communications Officer

Phone: 028 9064 8873

Mobile: 07702 517560

Email: a.mcclenaghan@basw.co.uk