Press Release

Public consultation on the introduction of nurse/midwife prescribing

The Department of Health and Children is today (12th May 2006) launching a public consultation on the extension of prescriptive authority to nurses and midwives.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, TD announced her intention to bring forward enabling legislation for prescribing by certain nurses and midwives at the launch of the Review of Nurses and Midwives in the Prescribing of Medicinal Products (jointly conducted by An Bord Altranais and the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery). The Review recommended that prescriptive authority should be extended to nurses and midwives subject to regulations.

The rationale behind the Tánaiste’s proposal to introduce nurse prescribing is to improve services to patients, including quality of life in for example, palliative care and care of the older person, reduce delays, deploy the training of and expertise of nurses as best as possible and assist the development of a service based on the right person delivering the right care in the right setting. This will result in the provision of more integrated care for patients, improved delivery in the acute sector, earlier intervention in the community and primary care settings and improved quality of life for older persons and those in palliative care.

The change would facilitate the development of the role of the nurse/midwife specialist in settings as diverse as A&E and facilities for care of the older person.

The deadline for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Monday 03 July 2006.