Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.17 23 May 2020


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A new expert panel to examine COVID-19 in nursing homes has been established.

It comes after a recent recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

The panel will examine national and international measures in response to COVID-19, as well as emerging best practice to ensure all response measures are prepared for.

The Department of Health says this is in light of the "expected ongoing COVID-19 risk" and impact for nursing homes over the next six to 18 months.

The panel, which will be chaired by Professor Cecily Kelleher from the College of Health and Agricultural Sciences at UCD, will report to Health Minister Simon Harris by the end of June.

Joining Professor Kelleher will be retired geriatrician Professor Cillian Twomey, group director of nursing at the RCSI Hospital Group Petrina Donnelly, and representing the public interest Bridget Doherty.

Announcing the panel, 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."

It is expected the panel will begin its scoping work early next week.

The NPHET recommended the establishment of an expert panel at its meeting on May 14th.

Main image: Seniors holding hands in a nursing home. Picture by: Paul Zinken/DPA/PA Images

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Bridget Doherty COVID-19 Nursing Home Expert Panel Covid-19 Expert Panel Expert Panel To Examine COVID-19 In Nursing Homes Nusing Homes Petrina Donnelly Professor Cecily Kelleher Professor Cillian Twomey Simon Harris

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