Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has announced €25 million in funding for 854 additional nursing posts to fully implement the Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skillmix in all acute hospitals nationally.
The Department of Health said the Framework was an evidence-based approach to ensure there were enough nurses in acute hospital settings, including Emergency Departments (ED), with the right knowledge and skills to provide safe and quality care to patients. The framework incorporated the different care needs of patients with the clinical judgement of highly educated professionals and evidence of impact and outcomes.
This announcement followed record levels of recruitment into ther health service.
There are 20,000 more staff working in our health service since the beginning of the pandemic, including 6,200 (net) additional nurses and midwives.
Minister Donnelly said, “The years 2020, 2021 and 2022 have seen the biggest staff increases since the HSE was established, and we want to do more. We have been implementing the Framework for Safe Staffing since 2020. We started in our bigger hospitals and are now seeing the benefits. We will now move to implement this policy in all acute hospitals this year”.
The Government has already invested €31 million in the Framework since 2020.
HSE CEO Bernard Gloster said, “This is a very significant development and gives us the opportunity now to implement the Framework for Safe Staffing across all our hospitals. I am determined that within the HSE we will now work together to achieve both the letter and spirit of this Framework. I welcome Minister Donnelly’s announcement, which will result in a significant improvement in the patient care that we provide, and in the experience of the staff providing that care.”
The Department said all nursing and midwifery graduates had been offered, and continued to be offered, permanent contracts in our health service.
Minister Donnelly added. “This Government has invested hugely in our health service. Some €23.6 billion was allocated this year, an extra €5.6 billion (32%) over the budget allocation for 2020. Over 970 additional acute hospital beds have been delivered since 1 January 2020. We have increased our critical care beds by 25% over the same time period. We are continuing to fund increased capacity – beds and staff – in our health service and I have now supported this with an evidenced based approach to nurse staffing.”