Simon Harris finally announces Nursing Home Expert Panel 1 week ago

Simon Harris finally announces Nursing Home Expert Panel

"This is in light of the expected ongoing COVID-19 risk and impact for nursing homes over the next 6-18 months."

Minister for Health Simon Harris announced today (23 May) that Ireland would finally establish a COVID-19 Nursing Home Expert Panel.

62% of Ireland's Covid-19 deaths have come in nursing homes, a figure surpassed on the global stage only by Canada. This means 987 Covid deaths have been care home residents.

The National Public Health Emergency Team recommended that a specific group to deal with nursing homes be set up.

A statement issued today by the Department of Health reads: "The panel will examine national and international measures in response to COVID-19, as well as emerging best practice to ensure all COVID-19 response 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."

Making the announcement, Minister Harris said: "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."

The 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.