PHA launches toolkit for Clinical Nurse Specialists in Northern Ireland

Wednesday, 28 March 2012 – Nursing
PHA launches toolkit for Clinical Nurse Specialists in Northern Ireland

The Public Health Agency (PHA) supported by the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC) today launched a unique job planning toolkit to assist Clinical Nurse Specialists with delivering patient-centred care.

In Northern Ireland there are a wide range of Clinical Nurse Specialists that work particularly in adult care in the areas of long term conditions management, and increasingly in the management of acute conditions such as urology, dermatology and cancer care and treatment. Their role involves them communicating with patients to help them manage their condition, reviewing medication, organising care pathways for patients and supporting patients to access other essential services. Patients frequently identify nurse specialists as one of the most important health care professionals they come into contact with.

Mary Hinds, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, PHA, said “At a time when the Health and Social Care system is facing unprecedented changes and there is an increasing demand for specialist care in Northern Ireland we need to respond to new and innovative treatments, devices and technology. Central to this is the need to provide a service that is person-focused, compassionate and caring. Job planning provides the opportunity for nurses, managers and commissioners to assess the needs of patients and design nursing roles that best meet these needs”.

“It will also afford nurses opportunities to reflect upon current practice, assess progress and consider alternative ways of working, developing services or treatments options that will improve patient experience, reduce inefficiencies, drive innovation, reduce referral times for services, reduce length of stay in hospital and improve patient outcomes.”

The toolkit is the first of its kind for clinical nurse specialists in Northern Ireland and has been achieved in partnership with NIPEC, the Health and Social Care Trusts, Northern Ireland Cancer Network, and the Royal College of Nursing. 

It will assist nurses, managers and commissioners to design Clinical Nurse Specialist roles. It will ensure that nurses are supported in their roles as specialists, enabling them to provide a more person centred approach consistently and facilitates a greater understanding to others of the unique contribution of each Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Glynis Henry, Chief Executive of NIPEC reported that she is “delighted that NIPEC is partnering the PHA in this project, which is concerned with promoting and supporting the practice, education and performance of Clinical Nurse Specialists, the statutory remit of NIPEC. We anticipate that this toolkit with facilitate Clinical Nurse Specialists to further enhance their positive contribution to safe, effective, person centred care”.

Further information

Contact the PHA Press Office on 028 90553663

Notes to the editor

  • The first phase of the project focused on developing a high level job plan for the nineteen most common, hospital based (acute) Clinical Nurse Specialist roles, across all five HSC Trusts.
  • The next phase of the project will focus on developing high level job plan templates for Clinical Nurse Specialist roles which cross the hospital/community interface or are solely community based.
  • A job plan describes the work of a Clinical Nurse Specialist over an average week.
  • A job plan should be flexible and will change to meet the needs of patients and clients and if need be service delivery.
  • The Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC) is a Non-Departmental Public Body established in October 2002 with a statutory remit to support the practice, education and performance of nurses and midwives in Northern Ireland.  NIPEC also provides advice and guidance on matters relating to nursing and midwifery.

Image: Pictured at the launch of the unique job planning toolkit  is Mary Hinds, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, PHA, Glynis Henry, Chief Executive, NIPEC, Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA and Health Minister, Edwin Poots