Press Release

Minister Lynch pays tribute to nurses at inaugural North South Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference

HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein of Jordan addresses nurses on power of collaboration

The inaugural All-Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference is taking place in Dublin Castle today, Monday 1st December 2014. The theme of the conference is ‘Leading through Collaboration — An All-Ireland Celebration of Nursing and Midwifery’.

The conference is being jointly hosted by Dr Siobhan O’Halloran, Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health, and Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland. Dr O’Halloran described the conference as “A truly memorable occasion — a celebration, not only of nursing, but of the power of collaboration. This conference brings together nursing colleagues from right across the island of Ireland with the aim of working collaboratively and continuing to learn from each other’s experience and practice.”

Minister Kathleen Lynch T.D., who is speaking at the conference, paid tribute to nurses and midwives for their historic and continuing contribution to the development of the health service on the island of Ireland.

“There will be very few people who won’t need to rely on the care of a nurse or midwife at some point in their lives. For everyone else, just knowing that nurses and midwives are there if needed is, in itself, a source of great reassurance, comfort and support. I myself have benefitted from the wonderful care of nurses a number of times over the last couple of years and I am happy to say that you would go far to beat the standard of care offered on this island”, said the Minister.

The Conference will also be addressed by Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al Hussein of Jordan, WHO Patron for Nursing and Midwifery in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. “Inter-professional collaboration is a key factor in increasing the effectiveness of health services offered to our people. It is based on sharing, partnership, power and inter-dependency which will teach you not only to manage, but to be a master in creating change. Only then will you be able to deliver all of its promises and much more”, said Her Royal Highness.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Mr Jim Wells MLA and Mr Keith Wood, Former Irish International Rugby Captain and Chair of the Healthy Ireland Council will also be speaking at the Conference.

At today’s event, the first ever award for ‘Excellence in Cross Border Nursing’ awarded by the Chief Nursing Officers is being awarded to Marie-Therese McDermott, Ward Sister at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen. 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 £1,000 training bursary provided by Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT), a cross border health and social care partnership comprising the border counties of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the Republic of Ireland and the Southern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts, the Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Notes for Editors

  1. In 2013, the Department of Health appointed Dr Siobhan O’Halloran as its first Chief Nursing Officer at Assistant Secretary level. This appointment is designed to ensure that the role of nursing and midwifery perspective is brought to bear on the development of policy.
  2. The inaugural All-Ireland Chief Nursing Officers’ Conference will take place on 1 December 2014 in Dublin Castle. The Conference is being jointly hosted by Dr O’Halloran and the Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland (Ms Charlotte McArdle).
  3. The theme of the conference is ‘Leading through Collaboration — An All-Ireland Celebration of Nursing and Midwifery’. HRH Princess Muna al Hussein of Jordan, WHO Patron for Nursing and Midwifery in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, will address the conference as will Mr Keith Wood, Former Irish International Rugby Captain and Chair of the Healthy Ireland Council.
  4. The CAWT Partnership is currently delivering services for patients and clients worth €30 million in investment value for the border counties of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the Republic of Ireland and the Southern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts, the Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.