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Public Health Nurse Consultant Older People

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Policy/Strategy Development

Area of Practice

  • Public Health Nursing


  • Commissioning
  • Regional Public or Professional Body

Job/Role Summary

The Nurse Consultant for Older People  works as part of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions team in the Public Health Agency. A key driver for this role is to improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Northern Ireland  in particular Older People and reduce inequalities through the implementation of  'Making Life Better' Strategy. To do this I work with Service Users, Local Commissioning Groups, Locality Planning Groups, with colleagues in the Health and Social Care Board and am a member of Regional and Service Commissioning Teams in order to provide expert nursing advice on a range of nursing services that require commissioned.

I  am responsible for the management, development and commissioning of nursing needs assessment and research within the local office of the HSCB, the wider PHA and regionally where appropriate.

I give input to professional projects, working in collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders from frontline services through to strategy and policy setting.


Specific qualifications and experience required

Live on the Nursing and Midwifery Council Register, and hold a relevant university degree, and at least 3 years experience in the last 5 years at senior management level dealing with the management of issues relating to care of older people

(Senior management is defined at band 7 or above)

Evidence of post registration specialist qualification/training AND have 2 years experience of budgetary management in the past 5 years.

Expert knowledge in older peoples care, experience of audit initiatives and other quality initiatives, experience of research activity including initiating, developing/implementing research in practice, able to set, monitor standards, knowledge of corporate, clinical governance, evidence of implementing research based practice, knowledge of national/local developments in area of older people.


Career Milestones

Graduating as a Registered Nurse

Securing my  first Ward Sister post

Winning the first Charter Award for a Stroke Unt in the United Kingdom

Founder Member of the Northern Ireland Multidisciplinary Association for Stroke Teams

Securing a post as Nurse Advisor for Older Preople with the Department of Health

Champion for and Lead Author for the 2008 NI Stroke Strategy

Securing a post as Director for Stroke Improvement for the EHSCB

Receiving an award from the Stroke Association for Outstanding Professional Contribution to Stroke Services in NI


What attracted you to this job?

The opportunity to influence and inform delivery of services to older people at a strategic level as well as to champion the care of older people.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is working with service users in relation to co-production and co design allowing me to suport service design that truly meets the needs of users;

I also enjoy working in collaboration with other external and internal stakeholders from service delivery through to strategy, within the HSC family.

My current role provides me with a high level of autonomy which I enjoy. 


Challenging aspects of the job/role

I often find myself chairing or heading up a piece of work which requires vast stakeholder involvement, however  this can be challenging as I do not possess operational management for these stakeholders.

Having to negotiate for nursing resources amidst other competing priorities

Managing expectations of Service Usrs and Professional staff


Important success factors

An excellent education from the University of Ulster

Working with other professionals from all deciplines who were equally passionate about providing excellence in Care for Older People and who encouraged and supported me

Working in organisations that embraced quality and service improvement

Working with patients and service users who inspired me to do better all the time

Having experience of working at different levels of the servise from practice through to policy


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

Ensure they have a good overall understanding of the health care system from strategy and policy through to service delivery

Ensure they have an awareness and understanding of Health and Social Care structures in Northern Ireland and how nursing services are commissioned.

Remember patients and service users are our most powerful influencers; make sure you have them beside you at every step

Develop as many networks as possible to inform/support your work

Think outside the box

Look Nationally and Internationally for evidence and guidance

Remember you are a champion for older people and nurses working in older peoples services

Always look for oppertunities to influence and improve services to older people


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

Whole system thinking across NI

Influencing skills

Negotiation and collaboration skills

Ability to challenge with confidence

Ability to develop new ways of working and test new models of service delivery

How to present the case for change


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