Senior Nurse Out of Hours

Brenda Creaney, Director of Nursing & User Experience, BHSCT. Click here to view the introductory video.

Introduction                                                                                     

Whilst health and social care services continue to be delivered to the highest standards across a system supported by highly skilled and motivated workforce. The effective and safe management of patients during nights and weekends is increasingly being emphasised as a key challenge for hospitals.

There is a growing international body of research linking higher mortality rates and poorer outcomes with hospital care delivered at nights and weekends, compared to care delivered during weekdays and daytime shifts.

The NIPEC led “Senior Nurse Out of Hours” project’s aim was to ensure a standardise approach for this role across hospitals in Northern Ireland.

Click on the link below to learn more about the background to the Senior Nurse Out of Hours Project.


  • Background

    Background                                                   

    The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) conducted an independent Review of Hospitals at Nights and Weekends (RQIA, 2013) which highlighted differences between acute hospitals in the availability of services and staffing at nights and weekends across Northern Ireland.

    In 2015, NIPEC established a regional Task and Finish Group to address recommendations 1 and 11 within the RQIA (2013) report, to ensure career pathways exist for nurses to prepare to take on the key role of Senior Nurse Out of Hours and the standardisation of job titles to avoid confusion for staff who move between hospitals.

    In 2015, the Clinical Director of the HSC Safety Forum asked NIPEC to progress a project to address Recommendation 1 within the Review of Hospitals at Nights and Weekends Report (RQIA, 2013): “Trusts should ensure there are career pathways for nurses to prepare to take on the key roles of Senior Nurse Leads in hospitals at nights and weekends”.  It was agreed that this would also address Recommendation 11 within the report, in relation to nursing: “The job titles of key roles in hospitals at nights and weekends should be standardised across hospitals to avoid confusion for staff who move between hospitals”.

    In 2015, the Clinical Director of the HSC Safety Forum (NI) asked NIPEC to progress a project to address Recommendation 1 within the Review of Hospitals at Nights and Weekends Report (RQIA, 2013): “Trusts should ensure there are career pathways for nurses to prepare to take on the key roles of Senior Nurse Leads in hospitals at nights and weekends”. In so doing, it was agreed that the work would also address Recommendation 11 within the report, in relation to nursing: “The job titles of key roles in hospitals at nights and weekends should be standardised across hospitals to avoid confusion for staff who move between hospitals”.

    For further information view the Final Report here.