Service development and improvement

The PHA Nursing and Allied Health Professions Directorate is responsible for:

  • professional, service and public health issues relating to nursing, midwifery, health visiting and the Allied Health Professions (AHPs);
  • the Health and Social Care Safety Forum;
  • the Centre for Connected Health and Social Care.

Through the Directorate, the PHA provides:

  • regional leadership for Personal and Public Involvement (PPI);
  • regional leadership for quality and safety.

Nursing incorporates midwifery, health visiting, healthcare assistants and other support staff, while AHPs cover dietetics, occupational therapy, orthoptics, physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography and speech and language therapy.

The aim of the directorate is to promote a service centred on the person, the patient and the community; a service that is high quality and delivered with care, compassion and respect for each individual.

Nursing and midwifery

The nursing and midwifery team is regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The nursing team has developed a professional nursing and midwifery forum for all nurses and midwives working in those organisations affected by the second phase of the Review of Public Administration (RPA 2). This group is chaired by the Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions and works to help nurses and midwives in these organisations:

  • keep up to date with regulatory and other professional issues;
  • share good practice;
  • share learning from incidents and events;
  • raise professional concerns.

Professor Tony Hazell, Chair of the NMC, recently attended a meeting to update the team on the latest news from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Midwifery supervision

Supervision of midwives is a statutory responsibility that provides a mechanism for support and guidance to every midwife practising in the UK. This role is carried out on the NMC’s behalf by local supervising authorities (LSAs). The LSA appoints a midwifery officer who has responsibility for carrying out the LSA’s functions.

The website of the Local Supervising Authority in Northern Ireland is at

The purpose of midwife supervision is to protect women and babies by actively promoting high standards of midwifery practice.

The Innovation Award winning PHA/Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC) partnership has developed an LSA website for supervisors of midwives in Northern Ireland. We also exceed the Standard set by the NMC for midwife supervisors to practicing midwives in Northern Ireland.

Our use of a lay reviewer in LSA audits and the PHA toolkit for the annual review of supervisors of midwives were given as examples of good practice by the NMC in their annual analysis.

Allied health professions

AHPs are regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC). The HPC is in place to protect the public by maintaining a register of health professionals who must meet their standards for training, professional skill, behaviour and health.

We have established an AHP forum to provide professional leadership to AHPs working in the PHA, Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Business Services Organisation (BSO). This forum will assist AHPs to fulfil their statutory requirements with the HPC.

What Really Matters? A New Vision for Nursing in Older People’s Services

This digital resource can be used by all organisations to highlight how we, as a collective group, can make a difference to the lives of older people across communities and care settings in Northern Ireland. 



The team work in partnership with a wide range of organisations. These partners are key to the success of the team and are considered valued colleagues. We are grateful for their support and guidance and hope these partnerships will become even stronger in the future.

Partners include:

  • HSCB;
  • Local Commissioning Groups (LCGs);
  • Patient and Client Council;
  • Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCTs);
  • Trade union representatives;
  • Long Term Conditions Alliance Northern Ireland;
  • Community Development Health Network;
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive;
  • BSO;
  • professional organisations;
  • Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA);
  • voluntary and community organisations.

Key achievements

  • appointed nurse consultants to all of the five LCGs;
  • agreed commissioning structures with the HSCB. Nine groups have been agreed and nurse leads identified for each;
  • identified nurse leads to provide professional advice and support for implementation of specific service frameworks, eg cardiovascular, cancer etc.;
  • providing lead nurse input to service reviews, eg urology and renal reviews;
  • leading on a number of regional projects for service development and service improvement.