INMO Successful in Campaign for new Health and Social Care section of HSA
Following a short and intense lobbying campaign by the INMO, the Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney has confirmed that the Health and Safety Authority will establish a Health and Social Care Advisory Committee. This is a huge turning point for the safety and well-being of nurses, midwives and indeed other healthcare workers. Other advisory Committees to the Authority, for example in the Construction Industry, bring needed focus, attention, and change to improve health and safety in the workplace – this type of attention is essential in healthcare and will make a real difference to our members in their workplace.
The Advisory Committee is made up of all key stakeholders in the sector, including worker representatives, and its work is governed by terms of reference. The Committee identifies and prioritise the key issues related to improving safety and health standards in the sector. It identifies the critical areas for action and establishes working groups to assist in the achievement of the agreed actions. It monitors progress and adherence to the national action plan that it has developed for the sector. It also reports regularly and formally on its work to the Board of the Health and Safety Authority.
Ultimately the aim of the Advisory Committee is to see a reduction in injury and ill health and an improvement in compliance with occupational safety and health within the sector.
We know that advisory committees in the farming and construction sectors have been absolutely transformative when it comes to reducing injuries and fatal accidents in these sectors.
A small delegation from the INMO including your President Karen McGowan met the Minister for Enterprise and Employment Simon Coveney and his colleague Minister Neale Richmond on May 2nd to seek that this committee be established. Less than two months later a process is now in place to establish the committee by the HSA. The level of seriousness undertaken by both Ministers is very much welcomed.
Expert Review Group
Several working groups have started their work to implement the recommendations of the Expert Review Body on Nursing and Midwifery, and the INMO is represented on each group. The first group are progressing a review of the undergraduate programmes leading to registration, including routes of entry, curriculum review, and increasing placement locations. The second group are progressing issues relating to career pathways including, CNS and ANP pathways, increasing CNS and ANP roles in the community, and the development of community midwifery services. The third group are addressing digital transformation in nursing and midwifery practice. The fourth group are dealing with governance and leadership, including effective representation of nurses and midwives at senior operational decision-making forums in the HSE centre and beyond, the reconfiguration and creation of a lead executive nurse and midwife in the proposed RHAs/Health Regions, and the creation of an effective Director of Nursing and Midwifery Network nationally to support integrated care. Finally, the fifth group is addressing the banding of Director and Assistant Directors of Nursing and Midwifery and lead Director posts in Model 4 hospitals. These groups will be working intensively in the coming weeks and months to realise the recommendations of the Expert Report, and we will be consulting with groups of members as the work progresses.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha
INMO General Secretary
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