ICHN, AGM 2016, held at Milltown, Dublin, September 2016.

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the final edition of the Institute of Community Health Nursing Newsletter Ezine for 2016. Within this issue there is reference to key projects which the Institute participated in during 2016 and future projects in 2017.

In 2016 the ICHN faced many challenges and it also enjoyed many successes while setting the direction for the strategic development of the organisation in the years ahead. The coming period will see great changes as we embrace the advancing needs of community nurses, primary care and our communities.

The Institute’s annual general conference was held in May 2016 in Dublin. The theme was “Advancing the Quality Agenda”. Papers were presented by National and International Speakers who emphasised the need for nurses to provide quality evidence based care. Participant involvement contributed to the interactive discussions relevant to everyday community nursing. The feedback was positive and will influence next year’s conference, incorporating the recommendations of delegates. The conference was a great success due to the commitment of the ICHN council and the administrators who co-ordinated the programme.

The AGM in September 2016 was held in the Institute of Irish Community Health Nurse, Milltown, Dublin and witnessed the launch of the second TILDA Report, ‘The Impact of Frailty on Public Health Nurse Service Utilisation Findings from the Longitudinal Study on Ageing’. The Report provides a unique insight into community nursing services for older people. Findings show that more than half of public health nursing services users aged 64 years and older are frail. The findings highlight the ability of the public health nursing service to identify those that are frail. They also reflect the many different roles played by public health nurses in supporting people to live in the community including: health promotion, early identification and prevention problems, case management and the provision of direct nursing care.

Further key findings:

  • 24% of community-living Irish people aged 65 years and older are frail, 45% are pre frail.
  • 57% of Public Health Nursing services users aged 65 years and older are frail.
  • Less than one third of frail older people access the public health nursing services.
  • The prevalence of frailty in those aged 65 years and older varied from 17% to 29% across Community Healthcare Organisations.

Research Awards Initiative

The ICHN Council would like to congratulate winners of the research awards.

The development of a firm research basis for work in Public Health and Community Nursing is crucial to advances in our discipline and to our recognition as leaders in care within the community. I hope that their projects proceed and, as stated at the awards ceremony, Dr Sinead Hanafin has agreed to provide ongoing support.

It is so encouraging to see the steady expansion of research in our field, along with the improvements this brings both to our clinical practice and to the organisation of services for the benefit of the large number of people who are helped. I look forward to hearing of your progress.

May I also wish those of you who forwarded submissions the very best of luck with their research work.

ICHN, RCSI & Research Matters Collaboration

In August, following the signing of a service level agreement between ICHN, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and Research Matters Ltd., these organisations launched a suite of new, innovative and clinically focused programmes for registered public health nurses, nurses and midwives in community settings.

The programmes are shaped by an education and learning philosophy underpinned by the concepts of adult, student-centred, lifelong learning. In addition, professional beliefs and values anchor these programmes, with safety, quality and excellence in service delivery taking a central role in each programme. The Institute of Community Health Nursing Collaboration strongly believes that good patient and client care is underpinned by up-to-date, evidence informed practice. Each programme is designed, facilitated and delivered by nurses, midwives, and public health nurses, or experts in the specialist area, with support and guidance from both the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and Dr Sinead Hanafin of Research Matters Ltd. The Institute of Community Health Nursing Collaboration strongly believes in participant involvement, interaction and engagement with the programme, alongside engagement with the facilitator, other registered public health nurses, nurses and midwives undertaking the programme. Participant interaction is achieved through the use of teaching methodologies such as lectures, discussions, self-evaluation,case study reviews, group discussions, feedback, hands-on workshops, questions & answers sessions and reflection. Each programme will be formally evaluated on its completion and feedback will be provided to the programme commissioners and also utilised to influence future programme development. Each of the following programmes have been submitted to the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (FNM RCSI) for Accreditation and awarding of Continuing Education Units (CEU) and also to the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) for Category 1 Approval. Further details including CEUs, programme facilitator, short summary, programme aims and learning outcomes are available in Table 1.


The following programmes are currently available and will be delivered over the coming weeks:

  1. Care Planning and Documentation for Nurses and Midwives Working in Community
  2. Assessment and Management of Behavioural Sleep Difficulties in Infants and Children
  3. Assessment and Management of Lymphoedema in the Community
  4. Safeguarding Adults at Risk of Abuse, Self-Neglect and Hoarding
  5. Improving Community Nursing Practice through Clinical Supervision
  6. Fitness to Practise Inquiries and Nursing Negligence Cases: Implications for Community Nursing Assessment and Management of Leg Ulcers in Community Settings.

The Nurses and Midwives Act (2011), places obligation on the registrar, regulator and employer in relation to maintaining education, training and continuing professional development; all of which are fundamental to maintaining professional competence. This collaboration will contribute to the ICHN Strategic Plan (2014-2017) in meeting its goals and key areas of development.

Research and Ethics Committee

The ICHN works in collaboration with all its partners to ensure that we identify the professional needs of our members and respond accordingly so that we support community nursing services in Ireland. A central focus of the ICHN is to support the creation of an evidence base relevant to nurses working in the community. Following consideration of a number of options, the ICHN council identified a need for an ICHN Research Ethics Committee to ensure appropriate ethical oversight of research projects taking place through the ICHN.

A steering group has been formed and the group held its first meeting in September.

The key role of the steering group (Research and Ethics Committee) is to consider research proposals for which ethical approval is required.

An operating procedure for the ICHN Research Ethics Committee is currently being developed and I will update you further in the next Ezine in 2017.

Welcome to ICHN Council

I would like to welcome Ms. Margaret Keohane, Public Health Nurse TULSA, to the ICHN Executive Council.

Margaret has considerable experience in the field of public health nursing and both I and the Council Members are looking forward to working with Margaret over the coming years.


I would also like to say thank you to Ms. Virginia Pye DPHN Lead ONMSD for her work with the ICHN.

Virginia is recognised for her innovative work in child welfare and health services.

One of her greatest achievements came in 2014, when the HSE launched the child and family needs assessment framework for public health in the midlands. The framework is used by PHNs to help assess risk and protective factors with children and ‘at risk’ families.

On behalf of the Council I would like to thank Virginia for her contribution and wish her well in the future.

I hope you enjoy the content of the ICHN ezine , it is a snapshot of activities and items of interest relevant to community nursing. On behalf of the ICHN council we would like to thank you for your continued support and contribution to providing a safe and quality service in our communities.

I wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas.

Hon President ICHN

Anne Lynott