ICHN Latest News

Welcome to the ICHN Latest News Section where you can keep up to date with all the latest news, events and updates from the ICHN. Subscribe to our blog to be notified in your email when a new post has been published so you keep up to date with all that is happening.

Recent blog posts


Bewley's Hotel Leopardstown are offering a special deal to all

delegates attending the ICHN Conference on the 21st May

                                          * €85 Bed, Breakfast & Car Parking per room per night single occupancy.

   *To make a booking, please contact our reservations department on

01 293 5000 and quote "Institute of community health nursing" to avail of the corporate rate.

Last Chance to avail of the Early Bird Special

   Early Bird Booking Fee up Until 21st March    
ICHN Members €50
ICHN Membership & Conference €75
Non Members Fee €65

Late Booking Fee (From 22nd March)             
ICHN Members  €75
Membership & Conference  €100
Non Members     €80

To book click here

For more information on the conference click here

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ICHN  have been invited to participate in this new group   and are seeking 2 PHN representatives with an interest in this topic. If interested or require additional information can you please contact me   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   asap. The group every 2 months in Dublin  

Kind regards 



.              Aims and Objects

The primary aims and objects of the Association are:

1.1          To protect the health of all babies, infants and young children in Ireland by providing them with safe and nutritious foodstuffs.

1.2          To monitor, and encourage others to monitor, the advertising, marketing and other promotional activities of the manufacturers and suppliers of breast milk substitutes and other foodstuffs aimed at babies, infants and young children and to challenge those activities which fail to comply with legal requirements and/or which fail to comply with agreed marketing standards and codes.

1.3          To bring to an end all marketing practices which could have an adverse effect onthe feeding of babies, infants and young children and/or which could threaten, the role of breastfeeding as the primary/biological normal feeding method and/or which could undermine the good health of babies, infants and young children.

1.4          To promote the right of a mother to breastfeed should she wish to do so

1.5          To promote the provision of objective, balanced, factual and relevant information about breastfeeding generally but particularly to expectant mothers and lactating mothers.

1.6          To require the competent authorities and other responsible organisations to provide all appropriate information, guidance, encouragement and support to enable mothers to breastfeed where they wish to and where they are able to do so.

1.7          To require the provision of all such information, guidance, encouragement and support to be based on the wishes and needs of the mother and subject to any medical or health-related advice.

1.8          To require that all such information, guidance, encouragement and support is not influenced by outside commercial pressures including from organisations that manufacture or sell breast milk substitutes and/or follow-on formulae. 

1.9          To make representations and/or submissions to governments, elected representatives, competent authorities, regulators, organisations, individuals and others on matters of professional, legal, practical, commercial or other concern to the Members of the Association;


1.10       To strengthen the commitment of the Irish government and non-governmental Irish organisations to comply with all relevant legal obligations, codes of practice, guidance, agreements and resolutions which relate to the promotion of breastfeeding and the marketing and advertising of breast milk substitutes. 

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Early Bird Booking Fee available until the 21st March 2014

ICHN Members €50

ICHN Membership & Conference €75

Non-members fee €65


Late Booking Fee

ICHN Members €75

Membership & Conference €100

Non-members €80


*To view conference programme click here

*To book please click here

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Early Bird Booking Fee up Until 21st March  
ICHN Members €50
ICHN Membership & Conference €75
Non Members Fee €65




Late Booking Fee (From 22nd March)           
ICHN Members €75
Membership & Conference €100
Non Members


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ICHN wish  members 'safe travel' as you deliver services in these severe weather  conditions

ICHN Council & Staff  

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Dear Members

 I understand some are having difficulty downloading document 

Hope this is more useful  link  GP Contract 



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Dear Members

ICHN will make a submission on new GP contract . Can you please send your comments on the draft to me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by February 13th. Can I draw your attention to 13.8 of draft  and what  the implications are  of this for PHN  core surveillance as per BHFC 1999/2005?    ICHN will seek to have this clarified .

To download click   GP draft contract

Mary O'Dowd  





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Minister for Health invites expressions of interest for the Healthy Ireland Council
Dynamic people sought to help make Ireland a healthier place

The Healthy Ireland Council will bring together key stakeholders and leaders from different sectors of Irish society to support the implementation of Healthy Ireland, Ireland’s framework for improving the health and wellbeing of our people.

Healthy Ireland: A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025 proposes a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to improving the health and wellbeing of Irish people over the coming generation.  The establishment of the Healthy Ireland Council is the most significant action under Healthy Ireland to leverage engagement with whole-of-society.  The Council will provide the platform to connect and mobilise communities, families and individuals into a national movement with one aim: to support everyone to enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing.

“There are no specific qualifications that someone must have to be a member of the Healthy Ireland Council”, the Minister said, “but members should have a national profile and a track record of leading change”.

For further information click here

To apply for a position click here


Links to Other Interesting Articles on Palliative Care


'Palliative' or 'end of life'? Why it is important to say the right words

UN: WHO Boosts Hope on Pain Relief, Palliative Care

Strengthening of palliative care as a component of
integrated treatment within the continuum of care

First ever Global Atlas identifies unmet need for palliative care

What do the terms "palliative" and "end of life" care mean to you?


Upcoming Events

Introduction to Multilevel Modelling using MLwiN and STATA

17th Annual Stroke Day Study


33rd Annual International Nursing & Midwifery Research & Education Conference 2014


Putting Children at the Centre of Family Law Reform

 The Children’s Rights Alliance Chief Executive, Tanya Ward said:
“This looks to be a modern bill that reflects the modern family. For far too long, children in Ireland have been discriminated against because of the type of family into which they have been born. For example, children in non-marital families have suffered because of situations where a step parent,  grandparent or

other family member has had no legal relationship with the child".

To read more click here: Putting-Children-at-the-Centre-of-Family-Law-Reform.docx


Launch of the new 'Tusla'  2014

The Child and Family Agency was established on 1st January 2014 and is now the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. It represents the most comprehensive reform of child protection, early intervention and family support services ever undertaken in Ireland.

Tusla Newsletter, Issue 1, January 2014
The new Tusla Website


Ad inflated baby milk benefits: Commercial banned after suggesting calcium in formula helped improve child's development

A TV advert for Cow & Gate baby milk has been banned for exaggerating the product’s health benefits.

The commercial said that the powdered formula provides calcium for ‘strong bones’ and iron for ‘brain development’.

But pro-breast feeding campaigners said it suggested an added advantage, when nutrients added to the product only play a part in the ‘normal’ development of the bones and brain.

A ruling published by the Advertising Standards Authority today says  manufacturer Danone misrepresented the health effects.

The group Baby Milk Action, which brought the complaint, insists breast milk followed by a mixed diet is better for developing babies and said Danone is ‘ripping parents off’.                                              Sean Poulter, Daily Mail Online. 29th January 2014

To read more on this article click here


Information on ICHN Projects, Reports, Publications & Events

For more information on the aforementioned see below



ICHN Annual Conference 21st May 2014

ICHN will host  Annual conference on Wednesday May 21st in Milltown Park with official opening by ICHN patron President Michael D Higgins.

The conference theme is 'Community & Public Health Nursing Matters'  

Each DPHN/LHO area has been invited to host a Project stand for their area which will form part of  President Higgins visit



For further booking information click here

*Early bird rates are available*


Connect with us



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ICHN will host  Annual conference on Wednesday May 21st in Milltown Park with official opening by ICHN patron President Michael D Higgins.

The conference theme is 'Community & Public Health Nursing Matters'  

Each DPHN/LHO area has been invited to host a Project stand for their area which will form part of  President Higgins visit


For further details and to avail of early bird rates 




Institute of Community Health Nursing

‘Community and Public Health Nursing Matters’

Conference Centre, Milltown Park, Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Wednesday 21st May, 2014


8:00am – 9:00 am


 Registration and Exhibition Viewing    (Tea/Coffee)

9:00 am – 9.30 am

9:30am – 10:00am



Opening Address - ‘Community and Public Health Nursing Matters’ DPHN

Global Public Health Nursing, Teresa Morangi Obwaya , Global Health Ministry, Nigeria(TBC)

10:00 am – 10.15 am


Presidential Protocol- Mary O’Dowd ICHN Director

10:15am – 10.45 am


Tea/Coffee & Exhibition Viewing

11:00 am – 11:45 am

Exhibition Open

Official Opening

Keynote Address:  ICHN Patron

President Michael D. Higgins

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Topic: ‘Policy’


Chair: Dr. Ann Donohue,



Speaker Panel

John Hennessy


HSE Primary Care National Director

Dr. Aine Carroll


HSE Clinical Programmes National Director


Dr. Stephanie O’Keefe


HSE Health & Well-Being National Director

1:00 pm- 2:00 pm

Lunch Break and Exhibition Viewing


Afternoon Programme

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Topic: ‘Adults and Older People’


Chair: Kate Arkley

Community RGN

ICHN Vice President


Speaker Panel

Dr. Catriona Murphy


TCD (Tilda)

Professor Des O’Neill


TCD/ Tallaght Hospital

    Mary Fletcher Smith


Independent Consultant

         Third Generation

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm


Topic: ‘Child and Family’


Chair: Patricia O’Dwyer

PHN Consultant




Speaker Panel


Dr. Richard Layte


‘Growing Up in Ireland’

Nora Gibbons



Family Support Agency

Dr. Sean Denyer


Department of Children & Youth Affairs


Professor Alf Nicholson


Paediatric Clinical Programme

4:15 pm-4:30pm


Closing Address: ICHN President, Johanna Downey


 *Subject to minor changes






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The benefits of being an ICHN member 

'Workloads up, pay down, 
playing catch-up, face in a frown. 
Reports coming out, research results in, 
the mountain is building, head in a spin. 

To be continued.........

To read more Testimonials  from members click here

ICHN Interest Groups

For information and dates with regard to the Child and Family Interest Group, The Documentation Steering Group & Population Health Interest Group click here


Building of trust is vital for proper interagency working

'The new Child and Family Agency, established on January 1st, is good news for children’s health, protection and welfare. HSE Children and Families Services, the Family Support Agency, and the National Educational and Welfare Board have become part of the new agency.

Significant partners include domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence services, Barnardos, ISPCC, Daughters of Charity Child and Family Services, and EPIC (Empowering Young People in Care)

The latest Annual Report from the National Review Panel, set up to examine the deaths of children and young people in care or known to child protection services, published in November 2013, found that interagency working does not happen as often as necessary.

“Over half of the published reviews found that an interagency meeting would have assisted in the compiling of information but was not held.”          

Jackie Jones, Irish Times, 21st January 2014

To read more on this Article Click here


Palliative Care is not an optional extra.

Advocates have been working to ensure that palliative care is recognised as an integral part of every country’s health system, and support from WHO is essential to these efforts. Last year, successful advocacy resulted in palliation being included as part of the WHO definition of Universal Health Care. This year, Margaret Chan, WHO Director General, referred to palliative care in her opening address. Leading palliative care experts referred to this high-level recognition as “a culture shift.”

The secretariat of the World Health Organization has prepared a report on palliative care to the Executive Board to guide their discussion. Diederik Lohman, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “The report definitely breaks some new ground and has a good set of recommendations for countries to implement.”

Dr. Margaret Chan, eHospice.com, 20th January 2014

To read more on this article click here


Education Network Update from the AIIHPC

To read this click here


Clinical Health Promotion Update

To read more on this click below



 Date for your diary 2014 

May 21st

 ICHN Annual Conference @ Milltown Park with official opening by ICHN Patron, President Michael D. Higgins



  Connect with us



                                                             Facebook      Twitter     Linkedin



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Request for Testimonials

The ICHN would like to ask its members if they would be so kind as to submit a testimonial on

'The Benefits of Being an ICHN Member'

       Any submissions would be greatly appreciated and can be forwarded to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


MiNDbank - bringing mental health issues to one place

“The easy-to-use platform was established as a tool to facilitate

debate, dialogue, advocacy and research on mental health, to improve care and

to promote human rights across the globe.”

To read more click here


Developing your research idea: A practical course for health care professionals

The aims of the course include:

  • To provide participants with the necessary skills to search the literature comprehensively and critically evaluate current research in order to generate an appropriate research question.
  • To educate participants on the steps involved to create a research proposal and to provide them with the research knowledge required to generate a robust research idea.
  • To provide a forum for participants to discuss and develop their research ideas.
  • To support participants in the dissemination of their research results.

To find out more please click here


Maximising the Ability of Older People

6th All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association

Call for abstracts and presentations

Abstract Template

To find out more about this event click here


Caring for a child with a life-limiting condition

The Centre of Children's Nurse Education are delighted to announce the 2014 dates for both Level A and Level B programmes

To find out more about this event please click here


Lady Rachel Dudley- a superwoman of her time

'Lady Dudley's plan was to establish trained and committed nurses, who would live in specially built houses within the community, and be on call for the sick. Using her persuasive personality and her husbands considerable influence, she persuaded the government, and every person with money to spare, to support her project. It was a huge success.....'

Ronnie O'Gorman. The Galway Advertiser, p.g 38, 16th Jan 2014

To read more of the this article click here


 Date for your diary 2014 

May 21st

 ICHN Annual Conference @ Milltown Park with official opening by ICHN Patron, President Michael D. Higgins


    Connect with us


            Facebook      Twitter     Linkedin

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Request for Testimonials

The ICHN would like to ask its members if they would be so kind as to submit a testimonial on

'The Benefits of Being an ICHN Member'

       Any submissions would be greatly appreciated and can be forwarded to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


European Stroke Conference ESC 2014 Call for Papers

Note: if you already have submitted your abstract please ignore this email.
We would kindly like to remind you that the deadline for abstract submission for the XXIII European Stroke Conference, which will be held from 6 - 9 May 2014 in Nice, France, is approaching:
Sunday, 12 January 2014 (midnight CET)
Please visit the conference website for detailed information on abstract topics and the submission procedure. All abstracts have to be submitted online.
Accepted abstracts will be published in Cerebrovascular Diseases.
We look forward to receiving your contribution and to seeing you in Nice in May 2014.
Kind regards
Administrative Secretariat
XXIII European Stroke Conference – ESC 2014


ICHN Launches Irish Intervention Wheel

   To read more on this Article from Health Matters January 2014

Click here and go to page 111


Public Consultation Meeting

National Registry for Autism and Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders

For more information click here


Improving HIV Care in A Rural Setting

A simple amplification-based assay (Samba) machine could be a new approach for improving HIV services in poor and rural communities. Developed by the University of Cambridge to offer viral load testing, CD4 counts and early infant diagnosis, the machine means that patients can now receive their results in a matter of hours, rather than days - as is currently the case - with blood samples needing to be sent to hospital laboratories for analysis.

Field trials were carried out with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Uganda and Malawi last year, as part of a three year project to test new ways of treating HIV in remote settings, funded by Unitaid.

Viral load testing is used to monitor the affects of antiretroviral treatment by detecting the level of the HIV virus in the blood. The WHO recommends regular testing to allow health workers to see if medications are working, and if they are being taken correctly, with a high viral load level suggesting an assessment is needed so that the patient can change drugs if required. But as an expensive process, relying on hospital laboratories, the Samba machine marks a turning point in HIV care, which will make this process quicker, easier, and more cost-effective.

A Samba 2 machine is now being developed to be even simpler to use, with the aim to be rolled out next year. "It's good to have Samba machines in rural areas like this," says Jefferey Golozeria, a nurse at Namitambo health clinic in Chiradzulu, southern Malawi. "It's better for patients."

Honoring and promoting community leadership and action on AIDS, the award will be presented at the XX International AIDS Conference in July 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

Funded by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and Irish AID, the award not only brings a focus on the most inspiring and innovative community responses to HIV and AIDS, it also helps communities advocate for their own involvement in the creating the response to HIV with local, national and global leaders and decision makers.

A biennial award, it will be given to 10 organizations that have shown outstanding community leadership and action on HIV. The five award categories are:

    Prevention of sexual transmission
    Prevention among and by people who use drugs
    Treatment, care and support
    Advocacy and human rights
    Stopping new HIV infections among children and keeping mothers alive; women's health.

Award recipients will receive US$ 10,000. Winning bodies will present the work of their organization, including their priorities, challenges, and approaches to community engagement at the XX International AIDS Conference.

Kind Regards,
The Irish Forum for Global Health

Progress has been made in Child Protection but challenges remain

 'For example, the provision of a public health nursing service to families experiencing difficulties provides immeasurable support by working upstream to prevent serious problems emerging later. Prevention services comprising financial assistance and/or mediation can assist families that might have been struggling to cope amid money worries and family difficulties. Links between extremely vulnerable individuals and the appropriate professionals, forged at the earliest possible opportunity can provide invaluable support'                    Geoffrey Shannon, Irish Times, 7th January 2014

   To continue reading click here


Second Opinion: We need active-friendly communities, not scare tactics

'While the HSE recognises the need to “reconfigure and realign work practice, programmes and teams to deliver against the actions in Healthy Ireland”, the Health and Wellbeing Division intends to ensure reforms “result in a greater focus on disease prevention and self-care”.
Disadvantaged groups are about three times more likely to smoke, be obese, have an unhealthy diet, and be physically inactive because of their social conditions, not because they are ignorant about health matters. They have enough difficulties to contend with in their daily lives without being the targets of campaigns'.                                                                                               Dr. Jackie Jones, Irish Times, 7th January 2014

To continue reading click here


 Date for your diary 2014 

May 21st

 ICHN Annual Conference @ Milltown Park with official opening by ICHN Patron, President Michael D. Higgins

    Connect with us

            Facebook      Twitter     Linkedin 

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Kildare Street.com

Department of Children and Family Affairs

Click here to read the Written Answers from 17th Dec 2013


Development Activities in Hospice/Palliative Care

Call for Applications under the Irish Hospice Foundation Grant Scheme A

A Guidance Sheet for Applicants and the Grant form can be downloaded from Hospice.ie


Date for your diary 2014 

May 21st

 ICHN Annual Conference @ Milltown Park with official opening by ICHN Patron, President Michael D. Higgins



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ÚrCHIN (New Child Health Information Network)




Update December 2013






Dear ÚrCHIN member,




 Since our February 2013 inaugural Workshop on integration of Child Health Information in Ireland,  a number of developments have taken place which may be of interest to network members.




A)  Workshop updates


(The updates for these have kindly been provided by the speakers in relation to the systems they described at the workshop)




            1. Newborn Bloodspot Screening (Phase 1 ILSMS)


The  first phase of integrated screening laboratory management system( Specimengate )  based in Childrens University Hospital Temple Street  went live on 20 May 2013  -   the electronic reports module(eReports) is now  available to 4 maternity hospitals which provides confirmation  of sample receipt and has reduced reporting time. This will be rolled out to other maternity units, PHN Child Health Departments and paediatric referral hospitals over the coming months. The Patient Care module of Specimengate which supports the referral  process  is expected to go live  by early 2014.




            2.  Newborn Bloodspot Screening (Phase 2 ILSMS)


Enhancements to Careworks Schemes * approved by CMOD will include provision for data fields for Newborn Bloodspot Screening (NBS)  outcomes


(* Applicable in   former North East, North West, Mid West and East areas)


 Further developments conditional upon outcome of N.I.C.I.S (see below)




       3. National Immunisation and Child Health Information System (N.I.C.I.S)


The NICIS Steering Group undertook a market sounding exercise for the National Immunisation and Childhealth System and met potential suppliers in September with the purpose of assessing  the availability of existing systems to meet Irish needs.




       4. Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening (UNHS)


UNHS has now been rolled out nationally since early November 2013.


81,815 babies have had their screening to date and 115 babies with a permanent childhood hearing impairment have been identified.






       5. National Child Care Information System


A contract to supply a National Child Care Information System was signed at the end of March 2013. The system selected (based on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Platform) is currently at development stage i.e. being configured to align with Social Work business processes and other the requirements set out in the system specification. A number of initial releases have already been made available for preliminary testing.




The database servers have been built in the National Data Centre and a first (alpha) version of the software will be installed shortly.




The Midwest Area has been selected as the initial implementation (pilot) site. A local implementation team is in place and is actively preparing the area for deployment of NCCIS.  New laptop and desktop computer equipment has been ordered and delivered and is currently being prepared for deployment.




System test and User Acceptance Testing of NCCIS will begin in January 2014. Local data migration will begin in February with a go-live date (first site) planned for the end of March 2014.




       6. Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System (MNCMS)


The aim of the project is to develop an electronic platform that can be used across all services and locations to support the necessary maternity and neonatal workflow and include clinical and management interfaces.  A contract between the HSE and Cerner Corporation is due to be signed in the final quarter of 2013 for a new system. This will be installed in the 19 public hospitals maternity hospitals over an expected 2-3 year timeframe in four phases.




       7. iPMS


The new iPM Patient Management System went live in Waterford Regional Hospital on the 29th of November replacing their 30 year old PAS. The system provides functionality in the areas of In Patient and Out Patient waiting lists, OPD appointments and scheduling, Admissions and Discharges, Real-time bed management, ED and Document Tracking. Clinics are now being booked from one hospital for clinics that are provided in another hospital. In the coming months the hospital plan to implement theatre scheduling and discharge summaries. This system now shares a patient index with the 17 sites in Cork that are also users of what is now the largest multi-campus PAS in the country. Multiple patient identifiers are stored for each patient depending on what hospitals they have attended and these are linked via a regional number. Activity and management reports are being upgraded giving better information to meet local and national reporting needs.  The next implementation sites in Q1 and Q2 2014 include Wexford General, St Luke and Kilcreene in Kilkenny and South Tipp General. Over Q3 and Q4 implementation will start  across the 6 hospitals in the Mid West and at Mullingar and Portlaoise in the Midlands.


The National IPMS programme welcomes the announcement of the new IHI and looks forward to integrating and utilising this identifier at current iPM sites.




       8. ISF (Integrated Service Framework)


A contract has recently been awarded for the development of a Standards Based Information Architecture Reference Model to optimise opportunities for integration of health information across relevant settings.  A series of 4 initial workshops is planned for key stakeholders.








B)  The HSE Systems Reform Programme has held workshops in recent weeks for the purpose of stakeholder consultation towards the development of a HSE ICT strategy.    A number of ÚrCHIN members nominated   from their HSE work settings have contributed   to the workshops and a further meeting with the Project Group is planned to provide a briefing on Child Health Information issues.




 And finally……………………………………….




C)  A Bill which provides for the introduction of an Individual Health Identifier (I.H.I.)  for patients and health care professionals  was published  on 13 December 2013 by the Department of Health and Children( DoHC) – see press release in Appendix 1




 As you can see from the brief snapshot 2013 has been a very busy year for Child Health Information and   there is every reason to hope that 2014 will be even more exciting   if the I.H.I. Bill is enacted.  The ÚrCHIN network will keep you updated of further developments as they emerge.




Kind regards and Happy Christmas













Dr. Kevin Kelleher


Assistant National Director (Public Health) HSE     


Appendix 1




Press Release, Friday, 13th December 2013


Minister Reilly publishes eHealth Strategy for Ireland


The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, today (13th December) published the eHealth Strategy for Ireland, the Health Identifiers Bill 2013 and announced the recruitment of a Chief Information Officer for the health services.


“The eHealth Strategy will put Ireland in a position to fully exploit all of the many benefits which today’s information and communication technology has to offer in modernising the way we treat patients and particularly in providing care in the most appropriate setting and at the most appropriate level within the health services” said Minister Reilly. “From my perspective, the eHealth strategy could not have come at a better time because eHealth is a key enabler of change, the type of radical reform that we have put in train for our health services.  I am also pleased by the proposals for cooperation with Northern Ireland in this area”.


The Health Identifiers Bill 2013, published today, provides the legal basis for Individual Health Identifiers for health service users and unique identifiers for health service providers.   The identifiers will be used across the health service, both public and private.  


First and foremost, Individual Health Identifiers are about patient safety and ensuring that the right information is associated with the right individual at the point of care.   Individual Health Identifiers will also help in managing our health service more efficiently and will be a building block for health reform initiatives outlined in Future Health, including Money Follows the Patient.  


A dedicated branded entity called ‘eHealth Ireland’ will be established, initially in the HSE.  It will be headed by a Chief Information Officer for the health service who will be recruited through an open competition.   Priority areas for initial development include ePrescribing, online referrals and scheduling, Telehealth (particularly relating to the management of chronic disease) and the development of summary patient records.


The Individual Health Identifier provided for in the Health Identifiers Bill will be essential to all of these developments and a programme for its rollout will be prepared as a matter of priority in tandem with the passage of the Bill through the Oireachtas.


eHealth Ecosystems will be a key mechanism for delivering on the eHealth strategy.  These will involve partnerships between health service providers, academia, industry and patients.  Such eHealth Ecosystems have been established in a number of EU countries and are amenable to cross border cooperation.   The Irish Presidency Declaration at the EU eHealth Conference held in Dublin in May 2013 committed member states to developing eHealth Ecosystems.


Concluding the Minister said “I firmly believe that Ireland’s extensive IT and healthcare industry sectors make us very well placed to exploit eHealth, not just to radically improve  our own health services, but as an emerging area within the wider ICT industry which will have a significant part to play in achieving this Government’s targets for jobs and economic growth.”


A copy of the eHealth Strategy for Ireland is available at http://www.dohc.ie/publications/eHealth_Strategy_2013.html




Notes for Editors:


Health Identifiers Bill


The Health Identifiers Bill 2013 which is published today provides the legal basis for Individual Health Identifiers for health service users and unique identifiers for health service providers.   The identifiers will be used across the health service, both public and private.  

First and foremost, Individual Health Identifiers are about patient safety and ensuring that the right information is associated with the right individual at the point of care.   Individual Health Identifiers will also help in managing our health service more efficiently and will be a building block for health reform initiatives including Money Follows the Patient.  

A National Individual Health Identifier Register will be established containing the Identifier and other identifying particulars relating to the individual. These are set out in the Bill.    There are two key privacy points here. The first is that an Individual Health Identifier or IHI will be a number which in itself will contain no personal data whatsoever. The second is that no clinical information whatsoever may be contained in the IHI Register.    

Access to the National IHI Register will be restricted to health service providers and other entities under the Bill. The Bill provides that measures must be put in place to help ensure that the National IHI Register is accessed only for relevant purposes and by people who are permitted to access it. There are offences and penalties set out in the Bill on inappropriate access.  

Health service providers - health professionals, organisations and some employees - will also have a unique identifier. Again, providers will have to use their identifier on their patient records and in relevant communications. This will clearly identify the person and organisation involved at each stage of care.   There will be a National Register of Health Services Providers Identifiers containing the identifier, name, business address and other relevant details. The Health Services Provider Register will be publicly accessible.  

Assigning identifiers and establishing and maintaining the related registers are functions of the Minister for Health under the Bill. However, for operational reasons, the Bill allows for the possible delegation of these functions to the Health Service Executive (HSE).
A provision for health identifiers was included in the Health Information Bill and heads of a Health information Bill were approved by Government in 2009. More recently, in the context of a commitment given to the Troika in June to publish legislation to give a statutory basis to health identifiers, it became clear that it would not be possible to have all the provisions of that Bill ready in time to meet the Troika commitment; hence, it was necessary to fast track the identifier elements into a separate focussed Bill: namely, the Health Identifiers Bill.  The formal drafting of this Health Identifiers Bill was approved by Government on 30th October 2013.

The Department was advised by a Health Identifiers Working Group representing all major stakeholders – D/Health, D/Public Expenditure and Reform, D/Social Protection, HIQA and HSE.  The Department also consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner.

Individual Health Identifier

The Individual Health Identifier will rely heavily and be closely linked to the Public Service Identity dataset and the SAFE* Public Service Card infrastructure operated by the Department of Social Protection.  In this way, the Individual Health Identifier will leverage the significant investment to date and the ongoing work by the Department of Social Protection (DSP).  

*Standard Authentication Framework Environment designed to assign a  level of certainty to the information held about an individual– e.g. information about a client is only assigned SAFE Level 2 after  a face-to-face interview were the client is required to produce documentary, including photographic, evidence of identity

It is not intended to replicate the DSP data collection and verification process, except for a small fraction of cases where DSP does not have information about the individuals concerned (e.g. tourists or temporary residents who are not normally issued with PPS Numbers).  This approach will ensure maximum leveraging of the public service dataset (operated by DSP) while enabling the health sector to operate a sectoral identifier.  In many respects, the health service will operate from a carbon copy of the public service identity dataset and this will significantly reduce the cost of the initiative.

Health service providers will be required to identify patients and clients who present for service by requesting their Individual Health Identifier or, failing that,  identifying particulars (such as name, date of birth etc.) which will enable them to search the register of Individual Health Identifiers.  The Bill provides that health service providers must associate the Individual Health Identifier with records they create.  However, a health service provider cannot refuse a service ­solely because an individual cannot, or refuses to, provide his or her Individual Health Identifier.

The proposed system will have features which will reassure the public about the use of health data

·        the individual health identifier may not be used in any other sector of the economy or government unless its use relates to a health service e.g. psychological assessments carried out for the education sector

·        no clinical information will be held in  the Individual Health Identifier Register

·        the Bill contains offences and penalties for misuse of the Individual Health Identifier and access to the Individual Health Identifier Register is controlled and limited with supporting criminal sanctions.

Organisational and Professional Identifiers

In line with HIQA recommendations, the Bill includes provisions for the establishment of identifiers for organisations providing health services as well as identifiers for professionals and other staff.  These identifiers will strengthen patient safety, privacy, wider regulation and facilitate more robust accountability and audit.  

The Bill compels health professional regulatory bodies, such as the Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, to provide information to the Minister on registered professionals.  It is intended to re-use the number assigned by these regulatory bodies in the Register of Professionals provided for in the Bill.

Operation of the Registers
The Bill provided that the Minister may delegate the main operational functions of the identifier registers to the HSE by Government order.  It is envisaged that the HSE /PCRS (Primary Care Reimbursement Service) will operate the Individual Health identifier Register on behalf of the Minister.  PCRS already has considerable expertise and systems in place which can be readily tailored for this purpose.  



Press and Communications Office, Department of Health| (+353) 1 635 4477| www.healthupdate.gov.ie| Twitter @roinnslainte


Email Disclaimer & Legal Notice: http://www.dohc.ie/mail_disclaimer/


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Latest news regarding the 'Education Network Update'  from the Institute's Education Team


Items from AIIHPC:

· AIIHPC press release - AIIHPC and the Irish Cancer Society launch postdoctoral fellowship in palliative care (link)

· AIIHPC press release - Have Your Say - Help shape the future of palliative and end of life care research (link)

Items regarding Education Network Members:

· Irish Hospice Foundation - New resource to help grieving kids (Article) (Link to website)

· Article in Irish Times ‘A life dedicated to dying well’ by Dr Paul D’Alton (link)


Online courses and resources:

· Primary Care Toolkit, Ontario Specific Toolkit re Advanced Care Planning (Link to E-Hospice article) (Link to site)

· HIQA have published information on their website in respect of the Thematic Inspections: http://www.hiqa.ie/resource-centre/care-providers/inspection. This includes guidance on end of life care as one of the two themes just piloted and due to be rolled out to all in 2014. It also includes a judgement framework document which highlights how inspectors judge a centre’s compliance in end of life care.


Articles and Reports

· The Palliative and end of life care Priority Setting Partnership has today launched a survey to gather the views of these 'end users' of palliative and end of life care research and identify which issues are most important to them. (LINK)

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Dear Members,

If you are on LinkedIn, Facebook or twitter please connect with us. The links are provided below and
they are also on the ICHN website. Feel free to like, comment or share our posts. We would love to
hear what you think.

Facebook  Twitter   Linkedin


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The Council on Stroke meetings are held 4 times a year in the Irish Heart Foundation Office
in Dublin. The meetings are usually held from 5.30pm-7pm. If you have a particular interest
in stroke and are willing to participate on behalf of your Public Health Nursing Colleagues,
 please contact Catriona Barry on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0858707282 for further details.
The Irish Heart Foundation was established in 1966. It is the national charity fighting stroke
 and heart disease, funded up to 90 per cent by public and corporate donations. Each year,
 approximately 10,000 Irish people have a stroke and around 2,000 die – more deaths than
breast cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer combined. An estimated 30,000 people are
living in the community with disabilities as a result of a stroke. This makes stroke the third
biggest cause of death in Ireland and the biggest cause of acquired disability. In April 2008,
 the Irish Heart Foundation commissioned the first national audit on stroke care and it
confirmed that between 350 and 500 lives could be saved annually if stroke units were
introduced into Irish hospitals. In November 2009, the Irish Heart Foundation launched its
Stroke Manifesto calling for urgent action to overhaul stroke services. Join the Irish Heart
Foundation’s campaign today for better stroke services .

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Global Action against Dementia 


The Group of Eight (G8) nations have set a goal of finding a cure or effective treatment for dementia by 2025 and ministers said the world needed to fight the spread of the memory-robbing condition just as it fought AIDS.

At the first-ever G8 meeting on combating the disease on Wednesday hosted by the UK, British Prime Minister David Cameron declared that discovering a cure or treatment for dementia is "within our grasp".

'This disease steals lives, it wrecks families, it breaks hearts and that is why all of us here are so utterly determined to beat it.'

David Cameron, British PM

Experts warn of a dementia time-bomb, with cases set to soar as the global population ages.

Health ministers from the G8 - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US - agreed on a funding surge for research in a bid to hit the 2025 target, amid warnings that the escalating problem could bankrupt healthcare budgets if a cure is not found.

"No one here is in any doubt about the scale of the dementia crisis," Cameron told the meeting.

"A new case every four seconds; a global cost of $600bn a year and that is nothing to say of the human cost.

"This disease steals lives, it wrecks families, it breaks hearts and that is why all of us here are so utterly determined to beat it."

The currently incurable condition afflicts some 44 million people worldwide - most of them elderly. That number is projected to jump to 76 million by 2030.

Funding pledges

Scientists are still struggling to understand the basic biology of the disease.

"In terms of a cure, or even a treatment that can modify the disease, we are empty-handed," World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan told ministers, campaigners, scientists and drug industry executives at the summit.

Ending that drug drought will require more investment by governments and the private sector. The G8 ministers pledged to increase spending "significantly" - with Britain promising to double its expenditure - but officials stopped short of giving
an overall funding figure.

British Health Minister Jeremy Hunt said there were lessons to be learnt from the fight against AIDS, where a 2005 G8 summit played a key role in pushing for better and more widely available drugs.

"We have turned the global tide in the battle against AIDS. Now we need to do it again. We will bankrupt our healthcare
systems if we don't," he said.

The health ministers also agreed to appoint a global envoy for dementia innovation, following a template used for HIV and
climate change.

Sufferers of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common form, often end up needing full-time care as it attacks their memory, reasoning and other brain functions

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Dear Members,

Please see the link below to view the Nutrition Update December 2013 from Safefood. The update is divided into 3 key areas: 

          1. Co-operation and Collaboration

          2. Communications

          3. Nutrition based evidence.

It also contains various information on current research, reports and resources, events and training opportunities.

Nutrition Update December 2013

Kind regards,

Mary O'Dowd

















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