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Covid-19 Nursing Home expert panel established

Covid-19 Nursing Home expert panel established

Covid-19 Nursing Home expert panel established

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has today announced the establishment of a Covid-19 Nursing Home Expert Panel.

The establishment of the Panel by the Minister follows from a recent National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) recommendation.

The panel will examine national and international measures in response to Covid-19, as well as emerging best practice to ensure all Covid-19response measures are prepared for. This is in light of the expected ongoing Covid-19 risk and impact for nursing homes over the next 6-18 months.

The Panel will report to the Minister by the end of June 2020.

Making the announcement, Minister Harris said "Throughout the response to the pandemic there has been particular focus on the challenges in the nursing home sector and it has been and remains an absolute priority for me in the overall response to Covid-19.

"We must continue to plan appropriately to meet the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 into the foreseeable future. I believe that the establishment of a Covid-19 Nursing Home Expert Panel to examine and advise on these matters is a crucial aspect of good planning to support Ireland’s navigation through the Covid-19 landscape and ensure the best possible safeguards are in place to protect the many people who call nursing homes their home.”

This high-level expert panel will be chaired by Professor Cecily Kelleher, Principal of the College of Health and Agricultural Sciences, UCD. Professor Kelleher will be joined by Professor Cillian Twomey (Retired Geriatrician), Petrina Donnelly, Group Director of Nursing, RCSI Hospital Group, and Bridget Doherty, representing the public interest.

Finally, the Minister stated “I want to sincerely thank the experts for their willingness to undertake this important task and I look forward to working closely with them in the weeks ahead”.

It is expected that the Expert Panel will commence its scoping work early next week.

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