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Healthcare review timescale too short: nurses

A review panel may not have enough time to produce a robust, evidence-based report into health and social care, nurses have claimed.

Health Minister Edwin Poots allocated 12 weeks for the probe when he announced in June that experts would consider how health and social care could be changed.

Garrett Martin, deputy director of the Royal College of Nursing in Northern Ireland, said: "The RCN recognises that the current system of health and social care cannot be sustained in its current format.

"However, while we welcome this review, we are unsure if it is possible to produce a robust, evidence-based report within the space of 12 weeks - these recommendations will have repercussions for years to come."

Dr Paul Darragh, chairman of the British Medical Association's Council in Northern Ireland, said: "We are concerned about the short timescale and we will be seeking clarification on the consultation process."

The panel has been asked to report to the Health Minister by November 30.

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