The chief nursing officer (CNO) for Northern Ireland has unveiled a five-year vision for nursing and midwifery in the country.
At her inaugural CNO conference in Belfast yesterday, Maria McIlgorm said workforce planning and education and training would be among the key priority areas from 2023 to 2028.
This vision is based on the Nursing and Midwifery Task Group (NMTG) report, published in 2020, which set out an ambitious agenda for nursing and midwifery in the Health and Social Care (HSC) system over the next decade.
“Our vision is to maximise the potential of the nursing and midwifery workforce”
In the report, the NMTG outlined a roadmap of how the contribution of nursing and midwifery could be maximised over the next 10 to 15 years.
The first key recommendation was around “stabilising the nursing and midwifery workforce” to ensure safe and effective care.
Another suggested adopting a population health approach, by putting public health, prevention and early intervention “at the heart of nursing and midwifery practice”.
The report also put forward a strategy to transform the HSC service by “enhancing the roles that nurses and midwives play within and across multidisciplinary teams”.
Ms McIlgorm said that she wanted to adopt these strategies as part of her five-year vision.
She explained that they would be achieved by focusing on four key priority areas: workforce and workload planning, education and training, career pathways, and developing a quality assurance framework.
Ms McIlgorm said: “Our vision is to maximise the potential of the nursing and midwifery workforce, including our healthcare support workers, in a safe, inclusive, and healthful culture while recognising the value of equality and diversity within the workforce.
“It is important that we will continue to work together to provide the resources and conditions to ensure that everyone involved in providing nursing and midwifery care can confidently and safely provide high quality evidence-based care.”
Her vision for the next five years was outlined in a document that was distributed at the CNO conference.
It was drafted in collaboration with nursing and midwifery leaders across HSC, as well as professional bodies and organisations, including the education and independent sector.
Ms McIlgorm added: “As we mark 75 years of the NHS, we not only look back on our great achievements and how much we have learnt and grown, but we look to the future and how we can all play our part in transforming our healthcare system to improve health outcomes now and for future generations.”