The Task Group which I have the privilege to Chair, was established to develop a roadmap that will provide direction in achieving world class Nursing and Midwifery services over the next 10 – 15 years. The work of the Task Group is underpinned by a public health approach that promotes health and wellbeing. It also identifies innovations in nursing and midwifery practice and embraces and builds on much excellent work already undertaken here in Northern Ireland. We are being informed by evidence of best practice in the North and South of Ireland, across Britain and further afield and are examining the socioeconomic value of nursing and midwifery.
Evidence which we have considered on the contribution of Nursing and Midwifery is set in the context of the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health which argues for: workforce planning; the need to invest in education; the need to align services to population needs; and the setting of an ambitious agenda which supports the expansion of practice and enables the appropriate use of the workforce.
The report recognises the contribution of Nursing and Midwifery across the population lifespan in a partnership through which person centred practice facilitates health and wellbeing and supports prevention, early intervention, recovery, self-management and end of life care. This is a crucial foundation to maximising the contribution of Nursing and Midwifery to health and wellbeing over the next 10-15 years.
Work continues to be progressed by the Task Group since we engaged with stakeholders through a number of workshops last autumn. Through these workshops we heard the views of Nurses and Midwives across Northern Ireland and since then have used this information along with broader evidence from across the world to write our report, which will be used to inform the way forward. Whilst the report is still very much under development I am delighted to share with you the themes which are the focus of our work in setting the direction.
In our report we will:
- Summarise what we heard;
- Describe where are we now, drawing on ongoing work and other relevant evidence;
- Articulate where we need to be over the next 10-15 years and describe the future in the context of the vision.
At present we are drawing up a set of recommendations and I look forward to sharing the final report with you in the near future.