The chief nursing officer for Northern Ireland has commended nurses for their efforts at closer working with colleagues south of the border.
Earlier this week, Northern Ireland CNO Professor Charlotte McArdle hosted an all-Ireland chief nursing officers’ conference in Belfast with her Irish counterpart Dr Siobhan O’Halloran.
“I look forward to further collaboration and sharing of best practice with our colleagues in the Republic”
Speaking to over 300 nurses, Professor McArdle said: “I recognise and commend our nursing and midwifery staff, across both jurisdictions, for their dedication to service users, carers and families.
Professor McArdle said she was greatly encouraged by the many excellent examples of what can be achieved through closer working and sharing of best practice across the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
She said: “A key area where we have benefitted through closer collaboration with our southern colleagues is congenital cardiac services. The heart centres in Belfast and Dublin have been working together for years to deliver excellent care in paediatric heart surgery and cardiology.
“It is also through working together that construction of the new Altnagelvin Radiotherapy Unit is well underway and on target to become operational in 2016,” she said. “This will deliver real and sustainable improvements for cancer patients in the north west.”
She noted that, for over 20 years, the cross-border Co-operation and Working Together partnership had delivered health and social care services in the border regions.
Northern Ireland CNO highlights value of cross-border working
She highlighted an initiative that offered a pre-pregnancy care service for women with diabetes and helps give children, young people and their families the skills and knowledge to manage their diabetes as an “excellent example”.
Professor McArdle said it was important a partnership approach continued, as health services moved forward in an “era of increased demand and financial uncertainty”.
“We must continue to learn and improve services for patients, families and carers and I look forward to further collaboration and sharing of best practice with our colleagues in the Republic,” she said.
“Our nurses and midwives have a wealth of experience, but it is important that we are also open to adopting new and innovative approaches to be more efficient and cost effective,” she added.