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					     NMC Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice

                      Notes of the 4th meeting of the Steering Group
                          held on 22nd August 2007 at 10.00 am
                  at NIPEC, Centre House, 79 Chichester Street, Belfast
Eleanor Hayes (chair)            Molly Kane                        Frances McMurray
Liz Bannon                       Isabell Leeman                    Nikki Walker
Teresa Barr                      Lin McDonagh                      Mary Watkins
Lesley Barrowman                 Anne McVey
Kathy Fodey                      Florence McMahon
Hazel Baird                      Caroline Goldthorpe               Brendan McGrath
Paddie Blaney                    Charlotte McArdle                 Brenda Poulton
Barbara Bradley                  Shirley McClean
In attendance
Brendan Maguire, DIS (for item 3.2)
Janet Hall
1.      Welcome and apologies

        Eleanor Hayes (EH) welcomed everyone to the meeting and in
        particular Anne McVey, who was representing Caroline Goldthorpe.
        EH advised members that they would be joined at 10.30am by
        Brendan Maguire from DIS for item 3.2.

        Apologies were made as above.

2.      Notes of previous meeting held on 27th June 2007

        The notes of the 3rd meeting of the Steering Group held on 27th June
        2007, previously circulated to members, were agreed as an accurate

3.      Matters Arising

        3.1   Vacancy from Belfast and new member from Western Trust

              Lesley Barrowman (LB) updated members on Trust
              representatives for the Steering Group as follows:

              •   Belfast Trust – education lead once appointed
              •   South East Trust – Charlotte McArdle
              •   Southern Trust – Caroline Goldthorpe
              •   Western Trust – Brendan McGrath

      •   Northern Trust – Hazel Baird

      Following discussion, it was agreed that LB would write to the
      Executive Directors of Nursing and the University of Ulster           LB
      requesting they review and confirm their representatives on the
      Steering Group.

3.2   Database Fields and HRMS system

      LB advised members that following discussions with the
      education lead of each Trust, it had been agreed to use the
      Human Resources Management System (HRMS) for the register
      of mentors and practice teachers. Some initial discussion has
      taken place with DIS, who manages HRMS, and they advise the
      register should be held on a separate section within HRMS.

      It was acknowledged that the extent to which Trusts use HRMS
      varies which could cause some initial problems in populating the
      register. However, as HRMS was available to all Trusts, it was
      felt this was the most appropriate system to house the register.
      LB confirmed that core data held on the main HRMS would be
      able to be transferred to the register, thereby avoiding
      duplication of effort.

      An initial draft of data-fields to be included on the register was
      tabled for comment and discussion. LB advised these fields had
      been developed to meet the requirements of the NMC
      Standards. A number of issues were discussed, including the
      need to ensure the data-fields was comprehensive; and
      provision of the correct access levels for staff updating and
      amending data on the register. A number of amendments had
      been made to the data-fields resulting from previous discussions
      with the Steering Group.

      At this point, EH welcomed Brendan Maguire (BM), DIS, to the
      meeting and introductions were made. BM advised how the
      register would operate within HRMS and how information held on
      the register could be automatically transferred to the Universities
      on a regular basis. He added that discussion is required with
      University IT staff to agree how this transfer would happen.

      BM confirmed that amendments to core data will need to be
      made on the main HRMS, which would then automatically
      update core data held on the register.

      LB clarified that entries to the register could only be made for
      registrants who had been through the mapping process and had
      completed a mentorship programme or practice teacher
      programme before 1st September 2007. Nikki Walker (NW)                NW
      agreed to amend the relevant fields.

      Concern was expressed at the difference between Trusts on the
      extent to which they use HRMS. Whilst the pilot testing of the
      register section will be important in highlighting missing data,
      there is the possibility that some core data may not be on HRMS
      and therefore unavailable or incorrect when populating the
      register. It was also pointed out that HRMS codes had changed
      and some Trusts were not using the correct codes, which will
      cause problems when populating the register.

      Anne McVey advised the Southern Trust had some concerns
      regarding the timetable for finalizing, testing and populating the
      register and queried if there was any contingency plan if this was
      not achieved by 1 October. She added that the recent
      reorgansiation of Trusts had meant that some staff trained in
      HRMS were no longer available and asked if DIS could provide
      training to staff in the use of HRMS and the new register.

      Some discussion took place regarding second level nurses
      mentoring first level students. Members were referred to the
      NMC Standards, page 14.

      BM stated that he would be presenting a paper to the Regional
      HRMS user group as a system development and did not
      anticipate any problems with obtaining their approval. He added
      that the software would be available by the end of September,
      following which testing can take place. This would involve users
      of HRMS, and training would be given to staff in the use of the
      new register.

      LB advised that she and NW would be meeting with BM at a later
      date when the issues raised by the Project and Steering Group
      could be discussed further.

      BM asked that the data-fields are finalized as soon as possible to
      allow him to proceed with his proposal to carry out this work. It
      was agreed the fields presented represented the final version.
      BM stated that DIS would provide training on the new fields, but
      ultimate implementation would be by the Trusts. He added that
      Trusts would also need to ensure that staff are given the
      appropriate levels of access. LB agreed to write to Trusts         LB
      retarding the use of HRMS for the register.

      NW tabled an initial draft policy for setting up and maintaining the All members
      local register of mentors and practice teachers within Trusts.
      Members agreed to feedback their comments to NW and LB.

3.3   Meeting with Education Leads

      LB advised she and NW had met with the newly appointed
      education leads to update them on the work of the Project, and
      had also provided them with a written update.

3.4   Independent Sector

      LB advised contact with the Independent Sector was proving a
      significant challenge. The Four Seasons group has advised of
      progress with the mapping process and LB advised there are
      plans to meet with Southern Cross in the near future. In relation
      to individual or smaller groups of homes, LB advised she has
      written to Universities seeking their assistance in mapping
      mentors and practice teachers in these homes. LB added that a
      spreadsheet will be developed for these nursing homes, which
      will enable link lecturers to access details of registered mentors
      and practice teachers.

3.5   Mapping tools and pilot

      NW gave members a summary evaluation report of the pilot and
      feedback received. She advised that 20 mentors/sign off
      mentors, 10 practice teachers and 2 managers had been
      requested to participate in the pilot and 25 responses had been
      received. In general feedback was good and had informed the
      final documentation.

      A copy of the final documentation had been forwarded to
      members, with a template presentation for Trusts to use in
      raising awareness about the mapping process.

3.6   Programme development and Underpinning Principles

      LB advised that the Underpinning Principles had been developed
      in discussion with the education providers, and would be
      reflected in the development of the mentor programme. LB
      welcomed any additions or comments to these.

      Frances McMurray (FMcM) reported that a meeting with
      representatives of the three Universities had taken place on 20th
      August and they were currently developing the relevant
      documentation for validation. A meeting with the Project Group
      had been arranged for 10th September to look at the draft

      It was acknowledged that the new programme would require
      significant commitment from Trusts in releasing staff to support
      nurses and midwives in completing the new mentor programme
      which was now work-based and took 10 days to complete.

      FMcM felt that verification of the mapping process was
      something the HSLP would look for when undertaking their
      validation and monitoring visits.

      LB referred to an NMC Circular (17/2007) contained in members’
      papers, which provided clarification for introducing the new
      Standards. In spite of initial concerns regarding the Circular and
      the timetable for implementing the new programmes, LB assured
      members this contained nothing new. LB had written to the
      NMC informing them of the current position in Northern Ireland.
      The response from NMC did not identify any difficulties.

4.   Report from Project Group

     EH felt that the majority of the areas within the report had already
     been covered. In relation to item 6, Mentor and Practice Teacher
     records, LB advised current practice is that these are kept by either
     students or Universities. However, NMC Standards require mentors
     and practice teachers to maintain an audit trail and keep written

     The Project Group’s Programme and Records Sub-group were
     currently researching what was happening in the UK in relation to this

5.   Resource Impact

     EH referred members to a draft paper tabled by LB which provided a
     brief outline of the main resource implications linked to implementing
     the NMC Standards. She added that other professional groups were
     resourced for mentoring and practice teaching, and there was a need
     to highlight the resource implications to the Department of Health.

     Kathy Fodey (KF) advised she would support a bid to the Department
     of Health for additional funding, but this would need to quantify
     resources required, highlight the nursing difference and the cost to
     Trusts meeting the new standards and provide the appropriate
     evidence. She added that inherent difficulties with HRMS will not be
     seen as new pressures.

     In relation to resource implications for education providers, it was felt
     this had been addressed in the recently agreed increased contract
     price. KF agreed to source the relevant papers which document this
     agreement, whilst Mary Watkins (MW) and FMcM agreed to seek                   K Fodey
     confirmation from their respective University.                                M Watkins
                                                                                   F McMurray
     MW stated that HLSP should be advised by NMC of their position on
     who can be a mentor/practice teacher, and status of second level

     LB clarified that it had been clearly stated at the beginning of the
     project that whilst NIPEC would assist in exploring possible resource
     implications, it would be the responsibility of individual Trusts to submit
     detailed bids for additional funding. FMcM advised that the draft
     documentation on the new mentor programme would provide Trusts
     with more information regarding the programme structure to enable
     decisions to be made regarding resource issues.

     LB agreed to provide more background information under each                   LB
     heading within the draft resource paper, requesting any additions
     and/or comments be forwarded to her. It was agreed the final paper            All members
     could be tabled for discussion by the Education Strategy Group, and
     forwarded to Trust Executive Directors of Nursing as a guide to
     developing and submitting their individual bids to the Department of

6.   Any other business

     6.1   Regional Education Strategy Group

           KF reported updates on the Project were provided to the
           Education Strategy Group.

     6.2   NMC queries

           KF advised the NMC’s Professional Advisory Group is to
           develop a paper responding to queries received regarding parts
           and sub-parts of the register and other queries regarding the
           NMC Standards.

     6.3   Project Officer posts

           LB advised members that funding had been provided by the
           Education Commission Group to Trusts to appoint a temporary
           Band 7 Project Officer (until end March 2008) to support the
           implementation of the NMC Standards.

7.   Date and time of next meeting

     Members were provided with a list of future dates in their papers.

     LB confirmed that the next meeting of the Steering Group would be
     held on Thursday, 25th October 2007, at 10.00 am in the Council
     Room, NIPEC, Centre House, 79 Chichester Street, Belfast.


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