Press Release

Minister Harris launches Public Consultation on new policies to enhance nursing and midwifery roles and career pathways

The Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris, TD and the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Dr Siobhan O’Halloran, have today launched the public consultation process on the following two nursing and midwifery draft policies:

Community nursing and midwifery response to an integrated Model of Care
The model of care proposed in this draft policy is one that offers the individual, family and community a range of choices. This will be facilitated through the re-organisation of the existing nursing and midwifery workforce in the community to provide a proactive rather than reactive model of care.

Graduate, specialist and advanced nursing and midwifery practice
The draft policy will present a framework for graduate, specialist and advanced nursing and midwifery practice capable of developing a critical mass of nurses and midwives to address emerging and future service needs including driving integration between services. The overarching principle underpinning the policy is to develop the nursing and midwifery resource in response to patient and service need.

Minister Harris stated that it is the Government’s intention to improve hospital avoidance, early discharge, patient flow, waiting lists and timely access to and a choice of health services. He said that both of these new policies will have a significant positive impact across these areas while also improving quality of service.

Siobhan O’Halloran, the Chief Nursing Officer, highlighted that these policies provided a model of care that is both integrated and inter-disciplinary allowing the patient to move easily between acute and community services. She also highlighted the proposals for significant changes in the education of nurses and midwives at specialist and advanced level.


Further Information

To inform the development of these policies, the Department is interested in receiving the views of nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals in relation to these policies. The consultation process is open to everyone. It will run from 27 March 2017 until 28 April 2017. Any contributions within the consultation period should be submitted by email to

Regional Consultations
The Minister has launched a series of regional consultations, the first of which was held today in the Primary Care Centre in Ballymun.

Further information, including links to the surveys on these policies and information on the regional consultations are available on the Department of Health website.