Press Release

Minister Simon Harris addresses the Nursing and Midwifery Values in Practice Conference in Dublin Castle

Minister for Health Simon Harris today reiterated his commitment to the recruitment and retention of 1,208 additional nurses and midwives in 2017, at the Nursing and Midwifery Values in Practice Conference in Dublin Castle today.

The Conference marks the first anniversary of the launch of the position paper on ‘Values for Nurses and Midwives in Ireland’. The paper was developed by the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health, in collaboration with the HSE and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. It describes the core values of compassion, care and commitment, underpinning practice as determined by nurses and midwives themselves following a national consultation process. During the conference today, examples of these values in action were relayed by nurses and midwives from across the health service.

The Minister met with and congratulated nurses and midwives who submitted examples of their work for a bursary award which demonstrate these values in practice, saying, ‘You should be rightly proud that so much progress has been made on engaging with these values to the benefit of patients’.

The Minister also acknowledged the central and critical role of nurses and midwives in our health services: ‘We are very fortunate to have the most compassionate, caring and committed nurses and midwives working for us, who have the best interests of our patients at the heart of everything that they do”.

‘That’s why I want to reiterate again today that delivering on agreed measures to significantly improve the staffing of nursing and midwifery posts in the public health service and offer serving and new nurses and midwives enhanced opportunities to advance their careers, is an absolute priority for me.”

The Minister added, ‘The health service is writing directly to our students, offering all graduating nurses and midwives full time contracts with the HSE. The Irish health needs you and this letter will help to reassure nurses and midwives that this is the case.”

Notes to Editors

Key elements of agreement with the INMO, Siptu Nursing and Nurses and Midwives via a ballot:

  • The funded workforce plan increasing the nursing and midwifery workforce in 2017, delivering 1,208 additional permanent posts
  • Conversion of agency employed staff into HSE direct employees;
  • Offering all graduating nurses and midwives full time contracts

Other key measures include:

  • Maternity leave cover
  • A career break scheme
  • 130 additional undergraduate places in 2017
  • Offering nurses and midwives improved educational opportunities and career pathways