Here we are again at the end of another year. Where did that one go?
Only three weeks until we’re expected to front up with presents. What do you mean you haven’t done your shopping yet? I know, I know… we’ve all got enough to do without being reminded about the Christmas shopping we haven’t done!
There’s certainly been plenty of political action impacting on all of our lives in 2013, with the long, dramatic lead up to the federal election and the change of Government. We also had the added excitement of changing our name in July. This has already had the effect of bringing to front of mind, for many of our key stakeholders, our representation of more than 19,000 midwife members.
As usual, there was never a dull moment for the ANMF Federal Professional Team. Our work on health and aged care has continued at a steady, unrelenting pace. A colleague recently mentioned the ‘down time’. I’m hoping someone can tell me exactly when that is?
I know all our hard working members can relate to being busy but, just so you know we at Federal Office haven’t been napping, Elizabeth and I thought we’d put together an overview of our work this year.
We have continued work on four major ANMF national projects, developed and coordinated 10 national submissions, given evidence at a Senate Inquiry, and been involved in numerous national external projects, seminars, forums, committees, meetings, working groups, alliances and conferences.
Activities this year have focused on: workforce planning and professional issues; nursing and midwifery education; primary health care; Medicare Locals; e-Health; telehealth; quality use of medicines; pandemic surveillance; aged care; national registration and accreditation; rural health; closing the gap; social justice; climate change; health funding; tax reform; and national policies, position statements, guidelines and standards.
Of course, we haven’t done all our work alone. We want to thank our dedicated colleagues and members in the state and territory branches for their input to the extensive professional advocacy and lobbying undertaken nationally this year on behalf of all ANMF members. For the eighth successive year, we’ve seen further growth in our membership in all state and territory branches which now numbers in excess of 230,700. The ANMF is the largest health and aged care professional and industrial association in Australia. This serves to strengthen our voice to influence the policy and reform required to improve health and aged care for all Australians.
The major projects undertaken this year are:
• Review of the Competency Standards for nurses in general practice project: Federal Office was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) to review the ANF Competency Standards for nurses in general practice in June and we commenced work in July. This document was originally published by ANF in 2005. We’re conducting this review over 18 months in partnership with a nursing research team at the University of Wollongong headed up by Professor Liz Halcomb. We’ve appointed Christine Ashley as project officer.
• Nursing Guidelines for the Management of Medicines in Aged Care: We completed the revision of the Nursing Guidelines for the Management of Medicines in an Aged Care, 2002 edition, in conjunction with the then Royal College of Nursing, Australia. The new document titled Nursing Guidelines: Management of Medicines in Aged Care, has now been published in hard copy and electronic formats, by the ANMF.
This year ANMF partnered in a Nursing and Midwifery Telehealth Consortia funded by DoHA with the aim to provide more equitable access to specialist services for patients in regional, rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas. The ANMF was responsible for managing the development and distribution of nationally agreed Telehealth professional practice standards and guidelines for nurses and midwives which were completed in June. The project also included development of Telehealth online learning modules, now available on the ANMF website.
Working Safe in Rural & Remote Australia Project
This project is a joint initiative of RDAA, ANMF, ACRRM, CRANAplus, the Queensland Teacher’s Union, and the Police Federation of Australia. Stage 1 explored community-based approaches to reducing workplace violence and improving safety for rural and remote health professionals, teachers, and police. It also involved the development of the new Working Safe website www.workingsafe.com.au. Funding has been sought for further stages.
Looking ahead to the new year, our immediate priorities are: the review of the ANMAC Registered Midwife Accreditation Standards ensuring there are realistic, achievable clinical requirements in a program that produces a safe, competent midwifery workforce; input into the Australian Government review of the Person Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR); review of the ANF Competency standards for nurses in general practice; ongoing work with HWA on nursing and midwifery workforce professional issues; promotion of education and resources developed to support the use of telehealth by nurses and midwives; further dissemination of the Nursing Guidelines for the Management of Medicines in Aged Care; review of the National School Nurse Professional Practice Standards; and finalisation and publication of the ANMF Nursing Informatics Professional Practice Standards.
Be sure to have a great Christmas and a safe start to a happy, productive 2014. We look forward to continuing to work with you to influence policy and raise awareness of the important role nurses and midwives play in the delivery of health care and improving health outcomes for the Australian population.
For more information about the work of the ANMF Federal Professional team go to the ‘Professional’ section at: www.anmf.org.au
Julianne Bryce and Elizabeth Foley
Federal Professional Officers