Press Release

Martin launches Management Development Programmes for Nurse and Midwife Managers

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D., today (31 January, 2001) launched a suite of Management Development Programmes for Nurse and Midwife Managers (Clinical Nurse Managers 2; Clinical Nurse Managers 3 and Middle Nurse Managers).

These programmes represent the first steps in a series of wider comprehensive programmes of development for nurses and midwives. The decision to establish a high level Steering Group to devise an agenda for change stems from the Report of the Commission on Nursing. This agenda was to involve nurses and midwives at all levels of decision-making in a meaningful way by empowering and giving them a voice in the management of the health services.

The Steering Group, which formally got underway in March 2000, comprises representatives from the Department of Health and Children, the Nursing Profession, the Nursing Unions, the Health Service Employers Agency, the Office for Health Management, Health Boards and Hospital Chief Executives. The Group adopted the title ‘Empowerment of Nurses and Midwives Steering Group – an agenda for change’.

The Minister said “I requested the Group to get down to its business as quickly as possible. I urged it to consult as widely as necessary and to set clear time frames for achieving its objectives. And today I am very pleased to note that considerable progress has been made on a number of fronts. I firmly believe that we have made a very positive start. I want to assure you of my continued commitment and support for developing all aspects of the nursing service. I hope that the next six months will be stimulating and rewarding for the participants, the programme providers and the agencies. Most importantly, I anticipate the result will be that nurses will have a much greater opportunity to contribute and impact on how health services are planned and delivered”.

The Steering Group identified four central themes to drive its agenda forward: – Management Development; Service Planning; Communications and Empowerment. Sub-groups were established to advance work on each of these themes and to develop action plans.

Two pilot programmes for each of the three groups will be run concurrently over the next six months. Following evaluation of the pilot programmes, standardised programme packages for each of the three groups will be developed and made available to all Health Agencies. Agencies will be free to collaborate and to choose who should provide the programmes.