Queen's Responds to Nursing Cuts
Queen’s University is calling on the Department of Health to fully reverse a decision to cut the training budget for specialist nurses
The University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery is facing a £0.5 million funding cut to its Specialist Practice Programmes which will result in a 50 per cent reduction in student places.
Professor Donna Fitzsimons, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s, said: “We are disappointed by this funding news and, are deeply concerned, by the impact it will have on the delivery of safe and effective care to the sickest people in our hospitals and community – such as those who are critically ill with cancer and heart disease as well as people with dementia, mental health issues and children requiring palliative care.
“We are currently investing heavily in Nursing and Midwifery and I am concerned that this decision potentially jeopardises these posts. The University has already sought urgent clarification on the basis of the cuts and the decision making process in the re-allocation of resources.”
The proposed funding cuts potentially impact on Queen’s Specialist Practice Programmes which span areas such as Peri-operative Nursing (22 Places), Health Assessment (16 Places) and Nursing Care of the Critically Ill Child (12 Places), and, as such, their potential to save lives and improve outcomes for patient care should not be over-looked.
In addition, axed courses such as Tissue Viability Nursing (16 Places), Working with people with dementia (18 Places), Palliative Care for Children and Families (10 Places) and Sexual Health (30 Places) have an impact on both acute and secondary care provision. Without skilled nurses in these areas there is a risk to the well-being of patients and the achievement of key targets within Health Trusts. This action seems to cut right across the clearly stated direction of travel of improving primary care outlined by the NI Assembly.