The Ministry for Health, through the Directorate for Nursing Services, is implementing an EU funded Project under the European Social Fund (ESF) with a total value of around €770,000 of which 85% is co-funded by the EU and 15% from national funds.
This ESF project – ESF 4.174 titled “Training Health Care Professionals for Integrating Acute and Community Care” will train nurses and midwives in the concept of patient discharge planning through a combination of job-shadowing and academic training, to be received locally and in Northern Ireland.
Moreover, other health care professionals including allied healthcare professionals and General Practitioners will be informed about the patient discharge planning through different seminars which will be held throughout the project lifecyle. The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN), the Northern Ireland Health Care Trust (NHSCT) and the European Federation of Nurses’ Associations (EFN) are partners in this ESF project. The collaboration of these partners and the transnational dimension of this ESF project guarantees that the trainees will be equipped with better knowledge and skills in providing optimum care to patients who are being discharged from hospital to the community.
The main purpose of this project is to build capacity in Maltese and Gozitan nurses and midwives to be able to better target the requirements of patients and mothers who are discharged from hospital to the community setting.
The planning of the patient’s discharge and the facilitation of the transition to community will mean a reduction of the length of stay of patients in the Medical and Maternity Wards of Mater Dei Hospital and the Gozo General Hospital whilst also lowering the risk for the patient to be readmitted to hospital with a continuous higher quality of care after being discharged to the community. Apart from a shorter length of stay of patients in the two main hospitals, an increase in the number of elderly patients returning directly into the community rather than other institutions should be experienced whilst having patients who are more satisfied of the service and care that they have received during their stay at the Hospitals.
Through the implementation of this ESF project, the Ministry for Health is investing in the lifelong learning of health care professionals and committing to provide high quality of care for the patients being discharged from Mater Dei Hospital and Gozo General Hospital.
The Minister for Health thanks all nurses and midwives who carry out their profession with great dedication for the benefit of the patients and their families. He expressed the Government’s commitment to continued investment in the nursing and midwifery sector together with other healthcare professionals so that the health service can truly meet the needs of the users.