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From the President - On the ground with the president

The International Collaboration of Orthopaedic Nurses (ICON) held a conference in Dublin on September 16 and 17 and it was my pleasure to welcome the delegates for their first international conference in this country. The aim was to bring orthopaedic and trauma nurses and other professionals and practitioners linked to musculoskeletal health from across the globe together. Over 120 international delegates attended. Many thanks to Rosemary Masterson who was a member of the advisory group and spent 18 months preparing the conference agenda and making it such a successful event. Rosemary is also chair of the INMO Orthopaedic Nurses Section.

Telephone triage conference
I was delighted to open the Telephone Triage Section’s 6th annual conference on September 21. Obviously the calibre of speakers encouraged the large attendance that I witnessed on the day. A huge thanks to the officers of this section for their great work, not only in organising the conference, but throughout the year – chair Mary Burke, vice chair Julie Dugan and secretary Liz Malone.

RNID study day
Talk about multi-tasking! Also on September 21 I had the honour of officially opening the Registered Nurses Intellectual Disability Section (RNID) Legal Education Day. Again this was very well attended and the feedback, especially on the topic of “Where nurses’ professional responsibility conflicts with organisational policy ie. medication management” was excellent.

Congratulations also to the officers of this section Catherine Doyle, chair; Patricia McCartney, vice chair and Josephine Ryan, secretary. Catherine, as you may know, served on the Executive Council for a full six year term and I was delighted to make a small presentation to her for her valuable service on behalf of the Organisation.

I attended the fourth European Nursing Congress in Rotterdam in October. Over 50 countries were represented with a thousand delegates. The theme was “Older persons: the Future of Care” and the congress included the 14th Research Congress of the Workgroup European Nurse Researchers (WENR) and the Flemish Dutch Nursing Congress.

All European countries are facing a growing population of older people. Demographic studies indicate that by 2050, Europe will have 173 million people of age 65 and above; this is 27.6% of the population, compared to 13.9% in 1995. Our current healthcare system in Europe is not prepared for the growing group of older persons and the specific demands of older persons creates a challenge for all nurses, as in all fields of care, except obstetrics and paediatrics, nurses will encounter a growing number of older persons.

Future older persons are better educated, lived their lives in greater prosperity and are more person- centred. They come from a different social cohort and will demand care designed for their specific needs. I believe more diversity in careers for nurses is needed to make the profession more appealing for future nurses.

The conference centred on innovation and creativity in thinking on the future of care for older persons. One of the speakers ended their presentation with the words “In God we trust, all others must bring evidence.” I had to be mindful that it was not just nurses and midwives who were at conference as we all know how important evidence based practice is! It was great to see Irish input; from UCD – Jacqueline Burke who is also our representative on WENR; Rita Collins, Attracta Lafferty and Amanda Phelan (well done colleagues and many thanks).

During the trip I visited a large nursing home just outside Rotterdam organised by the Dutch Nurses Association. The home had 210 residents and I wanted the opportunity to see for myself, having attended the conference, whether innovations for care could actually be witnessed on the ground. I almost booked a room! l suppose like all large long stay facilities it had its challenges but the focus on person-centred care was second to none and showed how it can be done well.

Draft National Standards on Safer Better Healthcare – Consultation Document were circulated at the October Executive Council Meeting. The purpose of these standards is to help the public and people who use healthcare services understand what a high quality safe healthcare service looks like.

Under the Health Act 2007 the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is responsible for developing national standards for health and social care services. The Authority is now looking for peoples’ views on these draft standards. A committee from Executive has now been set up and we will make our submission, having looked at best practice in other countries where standards have been introduced, before the closing date of November 4, 2010.

Get in touch
You can contact me at the INMO headquarters at Tel: 01- 6640 600, through the president’s corner on www.inmo.ie or by email to: sheiladickson@inmo.ie

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