Working Life: Gráinne Gaffney, director of Public Health Nursing

Gráinne Gaffney, director of Public Health Nursing and chair of Nurture Stream — Standardisation of Professional Records, HSE
Working Life: Gráinne Gaffney, director of Public Health Nursing

Gráinne Gaffney, director of Public Health Nursing and chair of Nurture Stream — Standardisation of Professional Records, HSE

7am: Mornings are busy, with the rush and bustle of family life. With lunches prepared and time pressure to catch school buses, we all go on our way with a hug.

9am: At the desk in the Primary Care Centre in Meath, I check the day’s calendar and prioritise emails for attention. The scope of my role is a challenge and an honour, as my team supports the community population from newborns to those in their advancing years.

11am: Everyday brings different meetings and projects for each aspect of my role and

my areas of specialist interest, such as child health governance, quality improvement and health informatics.

Today, I have a national meeting with colleagues regarding streamlining systems for the collection and analysis of data for the national public health nursing service.

Working collaboratively with a national focus, allows for analysis of a services’ health data with the aim to achieve improved healthcare outcomes.

1.30pm: One of my new year resolutions is to ensure I have a daily lunch. As I travel a lot I try to have a healthy lunch prepared.

2pm: Today, I’m chairing a Nurture meeting, as part of the implementation of the National Healthy Childhood programme. This group has led on the implementation of an inaugural national child health professional record, a standardised child health assessment practice manual for primary health networks and a national developmental assessment tool kit for all primary health networks and community medical doctors. After the meeting, it is back to my office to review national documents, business cases or governance mechanisms for the service, as well as catching up with my team, frontline public health nurses and community nurses.

6pm:Back home, my real work begins!

Firstly, dinner preparation and lively

discussion with the children, Órlaith, Niamh and Seán, on their individual days. Afterwards, I’m on the road for with the kids for football, camogie, hurling, music. My husband, Alan and I are like passing ships in the night. Once the children are in bed, I usually do a few hours research study for my doctorate in governance.

The Nurture Programme — Infant Health and Wellbeing — funded by Atlantic Philanthropies (Atlantic) focuses on universal child health service for 0 to 2-year-olds. See mychild.ie.

More in this section