Press Release

Minister Harris pays tribute to nurses and midwives at the All-Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference

The third All-Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference is taking place in Dublin Castle today. The theme of the conference is ‘Strengthening the sustainability of the Nursing and Midwifery Workforce — Delivering Results’.

The conference is being jointly hosted by Dr Siobhan O’Halloran, Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health, and Professor Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health, Northern Ireland. Both Minister Simon Harris TD and Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA addressed the conference.

In his opening address, Minister Simon Harris highlighted the work of the CNO’s Office in supporting the nursing and midwifery professions and maximising their contribution to health policy, “The CNO’s Office three-year Strategy sets out the Vision, Mission and Values for the CNO’s Office. It also includes four strategic objectives, to be achieved by the end of 2017, which will optimise the roles of nurses and midwives and their contribution to the health service. Most importantly, the Strategy’s ultimate aim is to help ensure that patients receive the best possible care.”

Speaking about the series of hospital visits he has made since taking up office, Minister Harris said, “I want to thank all of you for the positive difference you’ve made to many lives. I’ve seen first-hand the contribution nurses and midwives make to the health service and I’ve also seen the challenges you encounter. But I believe that there are many reasons to feel hopeful and, indeed, excited about the future direction of nursing and midwifery and your place in it.”

Other speakers at the conference include Professor Linda Aiken; Professor Cathy Warwick; Mr Peter Griffiths; and Ms Lisa Skeet.

At today’s event, the Chief Nursing Officers’ award for ‘Excellence in Cross Border Nursing’ will be awarded. This year’s award recognises the leading role played by the nominees in the development of the North West Cancer Centre in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

This award recognises innovation and excellence in patient care within the border region or on an all-island basis. The award is accompanied by a training bursary provided by Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT).

Notes for Editors

Minister Harris’s address

Further information about the CNO’s Office

In 2013, the Department of Health appointed Dr Siobhan O’Halloran as its first Chief Nursing Officer at Assistant Secretary level. This appointment was designed to ensure that the role of nursing and midwifery perspective is brought to bear on the development of policy.

The third All-Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference will take place on 5 December 2015 in Dublin Castle. The Conference is being jointly hosted by Dr O’Halloran and the Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland (Professor Charlotte McArdle). Last year’s conference took place on the 18th of November in Titanic, Belfast.

Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT) is a partnership between the Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that facilitates cross border collaborative working in health and social care. CAWT has funded the award for excellence in cross border nursing.