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'It is so commendable that you give of yourself and your time to care for others'

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A message of thanks for the Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland, Charlotte McArdle

CNO for Northern Ireland

Charlotte McArdle

Charlotte McArdle

It is the end of another year and a time to reflect on 2015. I want to take the opportunity to thank every nurse, midwife and healthcare support worker for their commitment, dedication and high standard of care provided to the population in Northern Ireland.

Every one of you has an important part to play and an important contribution to make in the delivery of a professional and compassionate nursing service.

I want to especially thank all staff who are working during the festive season. It is so commendable that you give of yourself and your time to care for others, which allows the HSC and other sectors to be confident that patients and clients are receiving the best care over the festive season.

”I want to take the opportunity to thank every nurse, midwife and healthcare support worker for their commitment”

For many it will be an especially busy time dealing with emergency or unplanned care, people in crisis and those who are vulnerable. I am both very proud and very appreciative of you being there.

Looking forward to 2016 we all know the challenges will continue both for the service and the professions. Our system will remain financially challenged and our profession remains challenged to continue to provide quality care in a changing and complex environment.

But in the face of those challenges there will be opportunities.

The Minister for Health Mr Simon Hamilton MLA has signalled his intention to create a culture of innovation driven by the need for reform and improvement. He has said he wants Northern Ireland to provide a world class service and he is making plans to progress this.

”I believe nurses are in a good position to lead and drive the changes that are needed”

This will require all of us to show strong clinical leadership and in doing so influence the model for care going forward. I believe nurses are in a good position to lead and drive the changes that are needed. Our focus on improvement must be relentless and using a model for improvement like Triple Aim ensures we deliver change that is patient or client focused, provides value and contributes to the health of the population.

Nursing must continue to be flexible and change to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

One such challenge is our contribution to “Making Life Better” our public health strategy in Northern Ireland. Nurses have a crucial role to play and we must work hard to ensure every contact count regardless of the setting.

”I believe every nursing interaction is an opportunity to improve health outcomes”

I believe every nursing interaction is an opportunity to improve health outcomes. This needs to happen in communities, in schools, in homes and in hospitals.

I want to recognise the challenges from a workforce perspective regarding recruitment and retention of nurses. This problem is not unique to here and through Central Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Committee we are developing ways to improve this, which I will feed into the Department and the Minister for consideration.

I am very pleased that Northern Ireland is revalidation ready. I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Nursing and Midwifery Council to ensure the process goes smoothly from April onwards. It is a positive development for nursing and midwifery and demonstrates our commitment to articulating the unique contribution of nursing and midwifery as professions.

For now though I want to wish every member of the nursing and midwifery team in NI a very happy Christmas and my best wishes for the New Year.

Charlotte McArdle, chief nursing officer for Northern Ireland

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