Thursday, 27 June 2013

HRB Medical Education Research Grant 2013 - Call Open

The Health Research Board (HRB)
Medical Education Research Grant 2013

The award is designed to both address policy needs and foster research capacity in the sector in Ireland so as to support quality development in medical education and training delivery for the benefit of the public, the health services and the medical Profession.
A single award will be made in 2013. The award will be up to a maximum total award value of €150,000 (inclusive of overheads) for a project of a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 24 months in duration.

WHO should apply?
The Medical Education Research Grant is open to Principal Investigators (PIs) from the Republic of Ireland, and is expected to be of particular interest to bodies already involved in the delivery of medical education and training in the Republic of Ireland (most notably bodies approved by the Medical Council under Part 10 of the Medical Practitioners Act for the purposes of education and training).
Applicants must demonstrate clearly that their research team contains the necessary breadth and depth of expertise in all the methodological areas required in the development and delivery of the proposed project.

The deadline for submission of complete applications is Monday, 16 September 2013 at 13.00.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Research Data Alliance to be held in Dublin March 2014

Australia, in close partnership with Ireland, will host the Third Plenary for the Research Data Alliance in Dublin, Ireland on March 26 to 28, 2014. The purpose of the Research Data Alliance is to accelerate international data-driven innovation and discovery by facilitating research data sharing and exchange, use and re-use, standards harmonization, and discoverability.
 The Third Plenary will build on the very successful First Plenary in March 2013 (led by RDA-Europe), and the firm planning underway for the Second Plenary in Washington DC in September 2013 (led by RDA-US).
 The Organising Committee for the Third Plenary consists of Dr Sandra Collins (Director, Digital Repository of Ireland), Professor Stefan Decker (INSIGHT: Ireland's National Data Analytics Research Centre), Dr Leif Laaksonen (RDA-Europe Project Director), Professor Alan Smeaton (INSIGHT: Ireland's National Data Analytics Research Centre) and Dr Andrew Treloar (Director of Technology, Australian National Data Service and Organising Committee Chair).
 The Research Data Alliance Council welcomes the continued momentum of the RDA Plenary event series and supports the Third Plenary organising group in its endeavours to date and forward into March 2014.
 For further information about the Research Data Alliance, please either visit or email .

Friday, 7 June 2013

Community Mothers Programme Empowerment of Parents by Parents

Brenda Molloy Director of the Community Mothers Programme talks to Aoife Lawton, HSE Librarian about the Community Mothers Programme.

AL: Brenda, how did the Community Mothers Programme start and what are its objectives?
BM:  The Community Mothers Programme (CMP) began in Dublin in the 1980's. The Programme involves trained experienced volunteer mothers from the community to visit first-time mothers of children aged birth to 12 months in their own homes. Its aim is to develop the skills of parents of young children thereby enhancing parent's confidence and self-esteem.
AL: What is the focus of the Programme?

BM: The Community Mothers, as they are known, focus on healthcare, nutrition and overall child development. The objective is the development of the child both physically and mentally through the empowerment of the mother. Community Mothers are trained and supported by specially trained Public Health Nurses known as Family Development Nurses.
Photo of parent and child from the Programme
Photo of Parent and Child from the programme

AL: How many people are involved?

In 2012 the home- visiting Programme was delivered by 127 Community Mothers to1136 families.

AL: How is the programme evaluated?
BM: The Programme has been rigorously evaluated using a randomised controlled approach and there is sound evidence that it has a beneficial effect on parenting skills and maternal self-esteem that is sustained over time and which is carried through to subsequent children.
The Programme is an integral part of the Health Service Executive and is a popular form of what could be called civic action.
In recent months the published evaluation of the Community Mothers Programme was reviewed according to carefully devised evidence criteria by Rand Europe, an independent, not-for-profit research organisation. As a result of this review the Programme was included in the evidence-based Family Practices section of the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) website. EPIC is managed by the European Commission and aims to provide information about policies, practices and programmes that can help families and their children with the challenges that exist in the current economic climate in Europe. 

AL: Thank-you Brenda, for your insight.  The recent review is a big achievement, we will be watching this space for future developments.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Irish Hospital Mortality Index (IHMI) to be implemented - Under the new system, patient outcomes will be assessed based on the condition they were treated for, and the expected number of deaths for each hospital for each condition according to set norms will be compared to the actual number of deaths recorded.
The specific purpose of comparative hospital mortality patterns is to enable hospitals to use the data generated to prioritise areas for review and potential improvements so that the best outcomes are achieved.
The HSE intends that this data will be made publicly available once the system has been fully developed and its accuracy assured, allowing a period of time for the HSE to work with hospitals to ensure accuracy of data generated.  In order to arrive at accurate comparative mortality rates between institutions, confounding factors that might explain variations in death rates would first be taken into account.
These would include age of patients, medical card status, patient numbers, and whether patients had other conditions along with the condition being treated.
Meanwhile, a separate national audit of mortality following surgical procedures is expected to get underway by the end of this year.  The Irish Audit of Surgical Mortality will involve surgeons reviewing the outcomes of procedures undertaken by their colleagues.
It is not planned at this stage to make any data on hospitals' surgery performance publicly available under the surgery audit. The audit will, however, be able to identify poor performance among individual surgeons or units so that remedial or regulatory action can be taken where necessary.
The surgery audit is being run by the National Office of Clinical Audit at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, in cooperation with the HSE.
Social Workers Register with CORU  (CORU is Ireland’s first multi profession health regulator) - Last Friday over 2,300 of the State’s 2,500 Social workers registered with CORU the body designated with the regulation of health and social care professions.  The new arrangements for Social Workers are the first step towards regulating 12 professions along the lines of similar systems in place for medicine and nursing.  Professions covered by the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 include; Clinical Biochemists, Dieticians, Medical Scientists, Occupational Therapists, Orothoptists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Psychologists and Speech and Language Therapists. 

Stress Levels – The parents of children with autism have higher stress levels than parents of children without autism, or children who have other disabilities. That is according to preliminary data from a study by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN).
The research indicates cutbacks in services are having a real and measurable effect on parents’ wellbeing, as well as highlighting stress levels among parents of children with autism. The study shows that levels of stress among parents of children with autism are higher when those families have less access to services. Dr Geraldine Leader, Director of ICAN at NUI Galway, explained: “Our research is highlighting the negative impacts that cutbacks and inadequate service provision may have, not only on child outcomes, but also on the health and wellbeing of the parents.”
Oireachtas Update 4th June 2013
The sub-Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform will meet on Wednesday and Thursday of this week to discuss the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquires, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013.  Dáil Éireann is adjourned until 2 pm on Tuesday June 11 2013. The Seanad is adjourned sine die.

Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments)
(Amendment) Bill 2013 published
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has published the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Bill 2013.  The Bill will enable an employee of a public service body to be redeployed to a comparable post in another public service body following designation by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).  The PAS will identify the most appropriate placement taking account of the competencies, qualifications, grade, pay, etc. of the person and the requirements of the post on offer.

Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement publishes annual
report 2012
The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) has published its Annual Report for 2012. The Report shows that during 2012, the ODCE submitted further investigation files to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) concerning alleged offences under both section 60 of the Companies Act 1963 and section 197 of the Companies Act 1990. These offences were related to certain events at the former Anglo Irish Bank on the basis of which the DPP directed that a total of 60 charges be preferred against a number of individuals.  These issues subsequently moved to the courts and the Office worked to support the DPP in discharging its disclosure obligations to those persons against whom legal proceedings are pending. This work, according to Ian Drennan, Director of Public Prosecutions, is “likely to be a significant and continuing feature of the Office’s work for some time to come.”