Appropriate levels of staffing are crucial in meeting Emergency Department (ED) patients’ needs and in assuring the quality and safety of the care they receive. The dearth of national and international guidance relating to appropriate staffing for emergency settings prompted the National Emergency Medicine Programme (EMP) with the support of the Office of Nursing and Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD) to initiate the development of a framework for nursing to support workforce planning in Emergency Departments. A framework would also support standardised staffing models and ensure equitable and appropriate staffing for all Emergency Departments (EDs) and Emergency Care Networks (ECNs) in Ireland.

The Emergency Department Nursing Workforce Planning Framework was subsequently developed and published and serves as a guide to support senior ED nurse managers and their team to assess and plan their nursing workforce to meet the needs of their individual services. The framework promotes a consistent, standardised and evidence based approach to workforce planning and provides the tools and resources to support workforce decisions. It can also support the development of competence and confidence amongst nurse managers in making workforce decisions.

The toolkit within the framework serves as a guide to support local nursing teams to assess and plan their nursing workforce to meet the needs of their individual services, in collaboration with local management. Education workshops to support implementation via a train the trainer approach was delivered in Q1 & 2 2017. The workshops were designed to enhance the health professional’s skills in workforce planning within the emergency setting with specific focus on the implementation of the ED Nursing Workforce Planning Framework toolkit in the practice setting. The overall objective of the workshops were to enhance the standard of workforce planning and analysis in practice across emergency healthcare settings nationally and aimed to prepare participants to acquire the knowledge and skills to provide a workforce planning leadership role in their emergency setting and to contribute to the improved workforce planning capability through evidenced based practice

The workshop programme was delivered in units of learning. Each unit of learning aligned to the six sections within the ED Workforce Planning toolkit.

  • Demand for Care
  • Operational Characteristics
  • Workforce Capacity
  • Workforce Capability
  • Nursing Outcomes
  • Financial Planning


The National Emergency Medicine Programme (EMP) held a Training and Information Session for the National Ambulance Patient Handover Protocol (IMIST-AMBO) on the 26th of July in The Royal College of Surgeons. Almost 100 Emergency Medicine Nurses and Consultants from around the Country attended the session. It was also web streamed to over 500 viewers.


Background on The National Ambulance Patient Handover Protocol

The National Ambulance Patient Handover Protocol was developed collaboratively between the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council, the National Ambulance Service, the Emergency Medicine Programme and the Dublin Fire Brigade. The protocol aims to support improvements in patient safety and quality of care by ensuring consistent, structured communication when handing over patients from Ambulance teams to ED teams. It is a quality initiative that offers a structured, yet flexible handover process to enhance patient care. It is a key component of a quality process as the information gathered during this process will inform and benefit the patients’ care pathway through the ED. The handover process is underpinned by the general principles that all members of the multi-disciplinary team contribute positively to patient care and their contribution is both important and valued. Professionalism, courtesy and mutual respect are core components of this principle.

  • The primary objective is to ensure that patient safety and quality of care is optimised during the transition of care between Pre-Hospital and Emergency Department (ED) teams.
  • The protocol will support timely and efficient patient handover, optimising ED compliance with the EMP Ambulance Patient Handover Time key performance indicator (KPI).
  • It provides a standardised and reliable process for quantitative data capture to monitor Ambulance Patient Handover Time KPI.
  • A structured feedback process provides qualitative data capture on process and performance.

The presentation and live recording of the Training and Information session are available to view on EMNOW: please click HERE

A Link to the 15-minute IMISTAMBO Handover Training Video is available on both YOUTUBE and HSELAND


The National Ambulance Patient Handover Protocol Training July 2016 Webstream

The link to the webstream whch is on the updates page also is found HERE

The National Ambulance Patient Handover Protocol Training July 2016 Presentation

The link to the presentation which is on the updates page is found HERE