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DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley has expressed disappointment at comments from the public service union Unison in relation to assistance being provided in a number of hospitals by medically-trained military personnel.

Responding to a post on the Unison Northern Ireland Facebook page the Upper Bann MLA said,

"This statement from Unison is extremely disappointing and is out of step with both Unison's own members and the wider public. I have already been contacted by health service staff making clear that this does not represent their views.

People will not understand why Unison are demanding information on staffing pressures at the current time. Every one of us knows the difficulties they face and we are all incredibly grateful for their immense contribution. We all too should support assistance from any quarter which can help relieve that pressure and ensure the most effective treatment possible for our patients.

This must be a united effort, and we should be focusing on the medical skills and expertise brought by the additional staff rather than the fact they happen to be members of our armed forces.

I would hope that Unison will take the opportunity to quickly clarify their position and ensure that an effort to help patients in our hospitals is not dragged into controversy.

The post can be seen below: