RCPCH calls on political parties in Northern Ireland to form an Executive

RCPCH is disappointed to see that devolution in Northern Ireland remains unclear with the continued failure to form an Executive. We hold out hope that the extension period granted in the Executive Formation Bill (2024) creates the space for a resolution, as otherwise, serious concerns remain that continued uncertainty will impact an entire generation of young people.
Stormont building, with tulips

Ray Nethercott, Officer for Ireland says:

As children's doctors we are wholly disheartened at the prospect of another period of political instability, worry and uncertainty in Northern Ireland.

We are now deep into our second long-term political hiatus in recent years – and without the ability to make key decisions and fully fund and progress, important policy such as the Paediatric Strategy 2016-26 and full implementation of the Integrated Care System, Northern Ireland will be left behind the rest of the UK. Now more than ever, we need politicians to urgently focus on our children. 

We implore all political leaders to ensure we have stability and continuity in our political institutions and that all parties in their discussions going forward make child health and wellbeing their priority for a deliverable Programme for Government.

Services for children are under increasingly significant pressure and too often we see the impact that waiting for treatment and assessment can have, physically and mentally. As paediatricians we know that development, both physical and emotional, goes through set stages, and missing opportunities for positive intervention has life-long consequences. Society can ill afford to play catch up on unaddressed and mis-timed health and development needs.

We must act now to enable our children to be happy, healthy and well, to build strong foundations for their future, with tools, resources and funding to develop a comprehensive, properly integrated child health service model.

Without an Executive and therefore no multi-year budget, the future looks bleak for children and young people. 

We cannot expect long-term success in population health outcomes unless we prioritise how we deliver services for children and young people.

Children cannot wait. They should not be let down again.

Now we call on political players to work urgently form an Executive, stabilise the public finances and work to mitigate the impact the ongoing uncertainty has had on your children and young people.