Chief Nursing Officer, Professor Charlotte McArdle, along with Irish counterpart Dr Siobhan O’Halloran, has hosted the all-Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference in Belfast.
The conference featured a range of speakers, who addressed key issues across the nursing and midwifery professions, relating to the need to provide safe, effective high quality care against the backdrop of reform, modernisation, and financial constraint.
Speaking to an audience of over 300 nurses from across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Professor McArdle said: “I recognise and commend our nursing and midwifery staff, across both jurisdictions, for their dedication to service users, carers and families and I thank them for their continued commitment to improving the effectiveness of the care they deliver.”
Prof. McArdle said she was greatly encouraged by the many excellent examples of what can be achieved through closer working and sharing of best practice across the two jurisdictions. She said: “A key area where we have benefitted through closer collaboration with our southern colleagues is Congenital Cardiac Services. The heart centres in Belfast and Dublin have been working together for years to deliver excellent care in paediatric heart surgery and cardiology.
“It is also through working together that construction of the new Altnagelvin Radiotherapy Unit is well underway and on target to become operational in 2016. This will deliver real and sustainable improvements for cancer patients in the North West.
“For over 20 years, the cross-border Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT) partnership has delivered health and social care services in the border regions. One excellent example is ‘Tackling Diabetes in high risk clients’, which offers a pre-pregnancy care service for women with diabetes and helps give children, young people and their families/carers the skills and knowledge they need to manage their diabetes. Around 3,500 women, children, parents and carers have benefited from this work to date.”
Prof. McArdle said that it was important that this partnership approach continued as we move forward in an era of increased demand and financial uncertainty. She said: “We must continue to learn and improve services for patients, families and carers and I look forward to further collaboration and sharing of best practice with our colleagues in the Republic.
“Our nurses and midwives have a wealth of experience, but it is important that we are also open to adopting new and innovative approaches to be more efficient and cost effective. This has never been more important, especially as both our health systems are experiencing increased demand and pressure on frontline staff.”
Notes to editors:
1. The DHSSPS Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) annually hosts a one day conference for the nursing and midwifery professions in Northern Ireland.
2. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0074 or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and calls will be returned. Follow us on Twitter: @healthdpt