It is widely accepted that the health service in Britain and Northern Ireland is struggling to recruit and retain specialist medical and nursing staff leading to gaps in provision and spiralling costs as temporary personnel are employed on a short term basis.
AFTER their disturbing experiences of the last few weeks, and in particular over recent days, there can only be enormous sympathy for the residents of the Victoria Place apartment block close to Belfast city centre.
While this year's Twelfth has been one of the quietest in recent years - something that will regarded with relief throughout the north - it is clear that considerable issues remain over some Eleventh Night bonfires.
The approach by the authorities towards the environmental, legal and above all public safety implications of massive and intimidating loyalist bonfires in residential areas has taken a number of twists in recent years.
The desperately sad story of 16-year-old Elle Trowbridge, who took her own life in April, exposes once again the pernicious world of cyber-bullying and the devastation caused by cruel and vicious comments.
Despite warning of `profound and serious implications' if the political parties failed to reach a deal by last Thursday's deadline, secretary of state James Brokenshire's strategy appears to be simply allowing the talks to limp on.