Lack of nursing representative on new Covid-19 Advisory Group is a "mistake", says INMO 2 months ago

Lack of nursing representative on new Covid-19 Advisory Group is a "mistake", says INMO

It called the exclusion of a nursing and midwifery representative "particularly disappointing".

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has described the lack of a nursing and midwifery representative on the new Covid-19 Advisory Group as a "mistake".

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On Friday evening (8 April), the Government announced the establishment of the group that will replace the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) after its disbanding in February.

The group will be chaired by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan and is set to advise the Government on how best to maximise Ireland’s medium to long-term preparedness against the virus.

Trinity professor Luke O'Neill and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Mary Horgan have been named as members of the group.

This is alongside Deputy CMO Ronan Glynn, modelling expert for NPHET Philip Nolan and HSE Chief Clinical Officer Colm Henry.

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However, in a statement on Saturday, INMO Deputy General Secretary Edward Mathews said it is "particularly disappointing" that there is no nursing or midwifery representative on the group.

“Nurses have been sounding the alarm of what exactly it is like to work in overcrowded hospitals while dealing with a highly transmissible virus for months now," he stated.

“Excluding nursing and midwifery from a panel that will advise Government going forward shows a distant and unrealistic approach to the pandemic which actually ignores the reality of the situation in the health services.

“Theoretical, research, and on the ground perspectives are essential and underrepresented in the membership of this new body - and will ensure a particular, but not particularly accurate picture as time moves forward.

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“The total exclusion of the voice of the largest group of health professionals is a mistake.”

A list of the Covid-19 Advisory Group's members can be found below.

  • Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan - Chair 
  • Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn
  • Chief Clinical Officer, HSE Dr Colm Henry
  • Chair of the IEMAG Prof Philip Nolan
  • Chair of the HIQA Covid-19 Expert Advisory Group Prof Máirín Ryan
  • Chair of the AMRIC Dr Eimear Brannigan
  • Director, HPSC Dr Derval Igoe
  • Regional Director of Public Health Dr John Cuddihy
  • General Practitioner Dr Tadhg Crowley
  • President RCPI Prof Mary Horgan
  • Consultant Microbiologist Dr Anne Rose Prior
  • Consultant in Infectious Diseases Prof Paddy Mallon
  • ESRI Behavioural Research Unit Prof Pete Lunn
  • Director, National Virus Reference Laboratory Dr Cillian de Gascun
  • Professor of Physical Chemistry Prof John Wenger
  • Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry Dr Anne Moore
  • Professor of Biochemistry and Immunology Prof Luke O’Neill
  • Professor, Chair in Comparative Immunology Prof Clíona O’Farrelly
  • Head of Health Protection Division, DOH Mr Fergal Goodman
  • Representative of the Department of the Taoiseach TBC