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Service improvement and innovation in nursing and midwifery

The Office of the Nursing & Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD) provides funding support, advice and expertise to help you engage in innovative activities that will bring about service improvement in nursing and midwifery practice.

Directors of Nursing and Midwifery can access this funding support through their local Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit (NMPDU).

Have an improvement or innovation idea?

If you have an improvement initiative or innovative idea, please see the Guidelines for Funding Nursing and Midwifery Service Improvement Innovation Initiatives 2021 for information on:

  • funding principles
  • conditions of funding
  • out of criteria

Contact your local NMPDU for an application form for 'Nursing and Midwifery Service Improvement Innovation Initiatives Funding Support'.

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Examples of improvement and innovation projects funded by ONMSD

Peer-Group Clinical Supervision Strategic Plan 2017 - 2020

This project involved the design and implementation of a clinical supervision framework for all nursing and midwifery specialities throughout the HSE healthcare region.
This support resulted in the publication in 2017 of the HSE North East Nursing and Midwifery Peer-Group Clinical Supervision Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020.


The purpose of this strategy is to:

  • guide the implementation of peer group clinical supervision within HSE North East across all healthcare settings
  • enable all nurse’s and midwives to have access to peer-group clinical supervision within their workplace to provide support for clinical practice within a defined framework


The benefits of this funding support include:

  • realisation of the strategic vision to embed clinical supervision as integral in the professions of nursing and midwifery. This will create an opportunity to focus on clinical practice to enhance quality of care across all healthcare settings throughout Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath.
  • achievement of the mission of this strategy which is the creation of clinical supervision forums. These forums engage in reflective practice with peers will provide support, enrich learning and cultivate a collaborative practice to deliver high quality, safe care to patients and service users.
  • implementation and embedding of clinical supervision which will strengthen and build capacity, capability and resilience in our nursing and midwifery teams.


The NMPDU Dublin North East in collaboration with nursing and midwifery services in Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath provided support through the service improvement and innovation funding to this project.

For more information contact:

Mairead McGahon - Director Regional Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Education

St. Brigid's Complex


Co. Louth

Phone: 087 656 2364

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Shaping the Future of Intellectual Disability Nursing in Ireland

The ONMSD sponsored the report “Shaping the Future of Intellectual Disability Nursing in Ireland”, under the service improvement and innovation fund. The report was published in 2018. The report was also sponsored by the HSE Disability Services in partnership with Professor Mary McCarron and her team in Trinity College Dublin.

The report’s 4 major themes are:

  • underpinning philosophy for practice (person-centredness)
  • health and social care supports
  • nursing capability
  • quality measurement and improvement

The themes set out a clear direction for the future role of intellectual disability nursing. This ensures the best possible health and social care is delivered to individuals with an intellectual disability.

Sponsorship of this report is of benefit to Registered Nurses in Intellectual Disability (RNIDs). RNIDs are required to continuously modify:

  • their role
  • their ways of working
  • their practice to support evolving models of service and changes in service structure

The vision and ultimate aim of this report are to set out a clear and evidence-based direction for intellectual disability nursing; one that is sustainable and which has person-centredness, safety and inclusion at its core. This will achieve even higher levels of excellence in the delivery of intellectual disability nursing service to people with an intellectual disability.

Related topic

Shaping the Future of Intellectual Disability Nursing in Ireland


For more information contact:

Judy Ryan - Director NMPDU South-East

Phone: 056 778 5620 / 086 859 9324

Health passport for people with an intellectual disability in contact with an acute hospital

People with intellectual disabilities are vulnerable with regards to their health and social care needs. The purpose of this project was to develop and put in place a pilot Health Passport. The Health Passport is a communication tool to help people with intellectual disabilities communicate aspects of their health and social care needs.

The NMPDU North-West provided support for this initiative under the service improvement and innovation fund. As part of the sponsorship and support of this initiative, the NMPDU North-West collaborated with:

  • local services in Letterkenny University Hospital
  • local services in Sligo University Hospital
  • HSE Quality Improvement Teams
  • HSE Social Care Division
  • Public Health Agency Northern Ireland

The initiative has benefited both service users and providers including:

  • helping people with intellectual disabilities communicate aspects of their health and social care needs
  • increase staff awareness about the reasonable change that may be required to enable them to provide person centredness, safe and effective care for people with intellectual disabilities who are in contact with the health services.

To support the ongoing awareness, implementation and evaluation of the next phase of the HSE Health Passport Project a cinematic short film was developed ‘Mission Possible.’


For more information contact:

Colette McGowan - Assistant Staff Officer, NMPDU North-West

Phone: 071 982 2106

Mind Mothers Study

The ONMSD launched the ‘Mind Mothers’ suite of resources (2017) for nurses and midwives who care for women experiencing mental health issues. The Mind Mothers project was funded by the HSE Service Improvement and Innovation funding. Research was undertaken by Trinity College Dublin in conjunction with advanced nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists in perinatal mental health in the following services:

  • National Maternity Hospital
  • Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital
  • Rotunda Hospital
  • Waterford/Wexford Mental Health Services.

Mind Mothers sets out best practice principles and is an educational e-learning tool for midwives, public health and practice nurses.

The suite of resources comprises:

  • ‘Mind Mother’s Study’ Report: Perinatal mental health: an exploration of practices, policies, processes and education needs of midwives and nurses within maternity and primary care services in Ireland
  • Perinatal Mental Health Best Practice Principles: Perinatal Mental Health Care: Best Practice Principles for Midwives, Public Health and Practice Nurses
  • e-learning programme for Perinatal Mental Health: “Mind Mothers: An E-Learning Programme in Perinatal Mental Health for Midwives, Public Health and Practice Nurses”

Mind Mothers Study Report

The study explored midwives, public health nurses and practice nurses level of engagement and competence in perinatal mental health care and their educational needs. The results of the study identified priorities for change within maternity and primary care services in Ireland.

Related topic

Mind Mothers report on perinatal mental health

Perinatal Best Practice Principles

The best practice principles for midwives, public health nurses and practice nurses were formulated in a response to the research undertaken. This document consists of 25 key principles that address:

  • collaborative practice
  • informed decision making
  • proactive planning
  • emotional safe care
  • multidisciplinary working

These evidence-based principles support nurses and midwives when caring for women during the perinatal period.

Mind Mothers best practice principles for perinatal mental health care

e-learning programme

The Mind Mothers e-learning package aims to equip midwives and public health and practice nurses with knowledge and skills in:

  • engagement
  • screening and assessment of perinatal mental health issues (depression, anxiety, psychosis, etc.)
  • skills to support women and facilitate referrals to primary care and/or specialist mental health services.

To access the e-learning programme, log into HSELanD to access the e-learning programme.

The 3 resources are available to all nurses and midwives and will enhance the service that is provided to women in the area of perinatal mental health.


For more information contact:

Anne Brennan - Director Nursing & Midwifery Planning and Development, HSE Dublin North

Phone: 01 813 1825


Each NMPDU has specific closing dates for submission of applications. Contact the director in your local NMPDU for further details.

NMPDU South (Cork, Kerry)

The initiatives listed below are examples of supported projects that benefited both service users and providers:

  • Progression of Art Therapy for Maternity Services
  • Introduction of Rainbow Badges to promote inclusion
  • Development of ADHD Care Bundles
  • The Front of Neck Access (FONA) Project (Anaesthetic Nursing) for Acute Services
  • Assisted Decision Support Project for Intellectual Disability Services
  • Development of Individualised Care Pathway for Perioperative patients with Intellectual Disability
  • Multisensory Stimulation Provision for Older Person Services

For more information contact:

Sinéad Connaire – Director

Phone: 021 492 1203

NMPDU South-East (Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, South Tipperary)

For more information contact:

Judy Ryan - Director

Phone: 056 778 5620

NMPDU North-West (Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan)

For more information contact:

Michelle O'Hara-Donnelly - Interim Director

Phone: 074 9123692 / 087 9487097

NMPDU West/Midwest (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Limerick, Clare, North Tipperary)

For further information for NMPDU West/Midwest, contact:

Carmel Hoey – Director

Phone: 087 7903569

NMPDU Dublin South, Kildare and Wicklow

For more information contact:

Sheila Cahalane - Interim Director

Phone: 01 620 1713

NMPDU Midlands (Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath)

For more information, contact:

Margaret Casey - Director

Phone: 086 771 6229

NMPDU Dublin North (Dublin North-West, Dublin North City, Dublin North)

For more information, contact:

Deirdre Duggan - Senior Administrator

Phone: 01 813 1802

NMPDU North-East (Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan)

For further information, contact:

Rose Lorenz - Assistant Director, Nursing and Midwifery (Coordinator of Continuing Nursing and Midwifery Education)

Phone: 041 685 0658