Policy and practice

In order to provide safe, quality health care nurses and midwives must be cognisant of the legislation, regulations and policies which guide their practice.

The relationship between nursing policy and practice is entwined with legislation and regulation such as Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) Act 2010 (external site) (National Law) the Medicines and Poisons Act 2014 (external site) and the associated regulations (external site)

Under National Law the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (external site) determines professional standards and provides guidance on the practice of both professions through a range of policies, codes and guidelines (external site).

The Department of Health Policy framework (external site) references system wide mandatory requirements and Health Service Providers (intranet site) have localised policies both which serve to ensure:

  • patients receive care that is safe, effective, appropriate to their needs, timely and efficient 
  • minimum standards and consistency are maintained with continuous improvement across the WA health system 
  • clinical governance structures and processes are maintained across the WA

Performance Development Review for Nurses and Midwives

The Performance Development Review for Nurses and Midwives Working Group has been meeting regularly since August 2018. This Working Group consists of representatives from each of the Health Service Providers, the Australian Nursing Federation and United Voice and is chaired by the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.

In alignment with the Performance Review Principles for Nurses and Midwives authorised by the Minister for Health, the Working Group has endorsed a Process for Performance Review for Nurses and Midwives.

The Process includes the offer of a discussion with the individual staff member’s manager. As per the Minister for Health’s commitment this meeting is not mandatory and the offer can be accepted or declined, however the nurse or midwife is required to complete the site’s designated performance review documentation and return it to their manager for their comments and completion. 

The annual review process is then considered complete and the manager will ensure that this is entered in the appropriate human resource management system (Lattice or ALESCO). Guidance on data entry is also attached.

This Working Group will continue to meet until August 2019 and monitor implementation of this process which is effective immediately.