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UL Hospitals Group Launches Four-Year Nursing and Midwifery Strategy

Nursing Midwifery Strategic Plan
Pictured at the launch of UL Hospitals Group Nursing and Midwifery Strategic Plan 2019-2022 were Rachel Larke, Sheila Ryan, Breda Fallon, Patricia Donovan, Sarah Watkins and Sarah Collins.

Nurses and midwives will be at the heart of delivering the changes in healthcare set out in the government’s Slaintecare programme.

A framework for how these changes will be introduced by these essential staff is set out in Professional Excellence: UL Hospital Group Nursing & Midwifery Strategic Plan 2019-2022.

The four-year strategic plan is founded upon five key priorities: Quality Relationship-Based Care; Leadership at All Levels; Workforce Capacity; Collaboration, Alliances and Innovation; and Professional Practice. The plan has been launched at University Hospital Limerick by Margaret Murphy, Patient Advocate for the World Health Organisation.

There are 1,715 (WTE, March 2019) nurses and midwives employed across UL Hospitals Group and Margaret Gleeson, Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, UL Hospitals Group, said the strategy provided a framework for each of them to reach their full potential and drive improvements in patient care.

“We are very fortunate to have such high calibre of experienced nurses and midwives working across the UL Hospitals Group. The strategic plan will provide the direction to assist with making the Group an attractive place to work, fulfil professional development and support nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in providing high quality, evidence-based care for our patients and mothers,” said Ms Gleeson.

“Our strategic plan sets our priorities to continually improve our services. As we move forward, we will continue to focus on developing our nursing and midwifery profession. We will strengthen our collaborations with our academic partners at both undergraduate and post graduate level and with our colleagues in the Community Health Organisation to advance integrated care models,” she added.

Ms Gleeson said the plan was responsive to the wider health reforms, including the integrated care models envisaged by Slaintecare.

Margaret Quigley, Director of Midwifery, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, said integrated care models would also be essential to developing maternity services in the MidWest in the coming years.

“Locally, we have embraced many changes to support women’s choice and recognise childbirth as a natural, physiological process. Future developments will come onstream within the lifespan of the Nursing & Midwifery Strategic Plan; and these include a 5-Step Plan to fully implement a community midwifery integrated service, offering outreach antenatal clinics, postnatal early transfer home service, DOMINO (domilcilary care in and out of hospital) and other elements of choice for women,” said Ms Quigley.

Objectives of the plan include more nurse and midwifery-led research; the development of nurses and midwives as clinical leaders and the appointment of more clinical nurse/midwife specialists and advanced nurse/midwife practitioner posts.

Ms Gleeson also revealed that it was UL Hospitals’ ambition to become the first group in the country to attain MAGNET accreditation.

This accreditation is awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Centre to hospitals that meet specific criteria. MAGNET-accredited hospitals in the United States are associated with better patient outcomes and patient satisfaction as well as greater job satisfaction for nurses, lower vacancy rates and staff turnover.

Speaking at the launch of the strategy, Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group, said: “There are significant changes to take place in how we deliver healthcare, with the implementation of Sláintecare and the advancement of integrated care models. This will challenge us collectively to look at how we best deliver care for patients. At the heart of this, is professional leadership.

Nurses and midwives have an important role to play in leading and delivering this agenda. Delivery of improved health for patients, as outlined in the strategic plan, will require a focus on developing leaders at all levels, building workforce capacity, aspiring to excellence in professional practice and enhancing collaboration, alliances and innovation,” Ms Cowan said.