Press Release

Launch of the Final Report of the Empowerment of Nurses and Midwives Steering group – An Agenda for Change

The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr. Tim O´Malley, T.D. today (26th April 2004) launched the final report of the Empowerment of Nurses and Midwives Steering Group – An Agenda for Change.

The Empowerment of Nurses and Midwives Steering Group was established in March, 2000. The Group was formed in the spirit of partnership across the health service and comprised a broad spread of disciplines and was set challenging tasks of changing mindsets and finding ways of giving nurses and midwives a meaningful role in the management of their services.

Speaking at the launch which took place in St. John’s Hospital, Limerick, the Minister said, “I am delighted to present the Final Report of the Empowerment of Nurses and Midwives Steering Group – An Agenda for Change. Working within its terms of reference, the Group has undertaken groundbreaking work in three important areas, namely, the meaning of empowerment; personal and management development; and service planning”.

We have seen some fundamental changes in the health services during the lifetime of the Steering Group. Organisational reform was a key framework for change proposed in the National Health Strategy published in 2001. The challenges posed by “Quality and Fairness  are significant, and in the health sector, where service delivery is almost completely dependent upon people, this will require new approaches to the management of those charged with service delivery.

On June 18, 2003 the Government announced the most extensive reform programme for the health system in over 30 years. Minister O´Malley said that he believed that the Empowerment of Nurses and Midwives Steering Group have produced some extremely informative work in this area which will be of immense assistance in implementing the Reform Agenda. “I would like to take this opportunity to commend the members of the steering group on a job well done. It is imperative that their work be continued through local ownership of the empowerment philosophy, and a commitment to continued support from all strands of our health service.”