Health Minister attends first All Ireland nursing conference

Date published: 05 December 2016

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has attended her first joint All Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference in Dublin Castle today.

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The annual conference was jointly hosted this year by the north of Ireland’s Chief Nursing Officer, Charlotte McArdle and her counterpart in the south of Ireland, Dr Siobhan O’Halloran.  The event was attended by 350 nurses from across the island of Ireland. 

Addressing conference, Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Today’s Conference theme; ‘Strengthening the Sustainability of the Nursing and Midwifery Workforce – Delivering results’ speaks volumes about our concerted approach to delivering quality, innovative and cost-effective healthcare to our patients.

“It is important that we share our experiences within nursing and midwifery, and I am encouraged that we have already been extremely successful working together in a number of areas like Congenital Cardiac Services and the recent opening of the Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin hospital.”

Minister O’Neill continued: “I want you, the nursing and midwifery leaders, to be in a position to grasp the transformational agenda coming from my vision to reform health and social care over the next 10 years within the north of Ireland.

“One of the central elements to this change is partnership working.  I have committed to the appointment of a Nursing and Midwifery Task Group to report on how we can maximise the contribution the nursing and midwifery professions to make improved outcomes for the population in terms of this vision.

“This Task Group will have a 12 month lifespan and it will be expected to make a number of recommendations, and I would encourage you all to take every opportunity to influence its work.”

The Minister concluded: “I want to continue to explore where all-island services can be developed to bring mutual benefit for patients in both north and south of the island which includes working collaboratively on a range of issues. I recognise and commend our nursing staff within both jurisdictions, for their dedication to service users, carers and families and I want to thank them for their continued commitment to improve the effectiveness of the care that they deliver.”

Commenting on the Conference, Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland said “I am delighted to jointly host the third All Ireland celebration of nursing and midwifery in Dublin. Collaboration, learning and improving services for patients, families and carers has never been more important, especially when we know both our health systems are experiencing increasing demands and pressure on front line nurses and midwives.”

Notes to editors: 

1.    The DoH Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) annually hosts a one day conference for the nursing and midwifery professions in the north of Ireland.

2.    This is the third year that the Department of Health in the north and Department of Health, Ireland have agreed to hold a joint All Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference.

3.    Media queries to DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0074 or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623974383 and calls will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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