Launch of the Report a Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing
Skill Mix in Adult Emergency Care Settings in Ireland 2022
On the 2nd June 2022 the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly launched the Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skill Mix in Adult Emergency Care Settings in Ireland. The development of this Framework was informed by research undertaken by a team at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, the University of Southampton and the University of Technology Sydney. The Framework was developed in partnership between the research team and the Chief Nurse’s Office in the Department of Health.
The Framework sets out, for the first time, a method to determine the appropriate number of nurses and healthcare assistants required for Emergency Departments and Injury Units based on the number of patients presenting and their care needs.
The Framework incorporates international evidence, consultation with key stakeholders and is was developed, implemented and tested by the research team across three Emergency Departments: The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Cork University Hospital, Tipperary University Hospital, and one Injury Unit, in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital Ennis.
The research team led by Professor Jonathan Drennan, University College Cork, specifically measured patient, staff, and organisational impacts
Speaking at the launch in The Pillar room, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Minister Donnelly said:
“The pilot programme demonstrated compelling evidence that having the correct nurse staffing levels and skill mix, based on patient need, has many positive impacts for patients, organisations and the staff themselves”.
Implementation of the framework demonstrated, in addition to reduced waiting times, other positive patient benefits including a significant reduction in the proportion of patients that leave Emergency Departments without being seen for treatment. Nursing staff reported an increase in job satisfaction during the pilot and improvements in quality of care being delivered. The pilot also showed some encouraging evidence of financial benefits with a decrease in the use of agency staff.
The members of the research team included: Professor Jonathan Drennan (Principal Investigator), Professor Josephine Hegarty, Dr Aileen Murphy, Dr Noeleen Brady, Dr Ashling Murphy, Dr Vera McCarthy, Ms Croia Loughnane, Mr Gearóid Kelly, Dr Darren Dahly (University College Cork); Professor Peter Griffiths, Professor Jane Ball, Professor Rob Crouch (University of Southampton); Professor Christine Duffield (University of Technology Sydney); Professor Anne Scott (National University of Ireland Galway)