Nursing homes around Roscommon and Ireland looked on with interest this afternoon as Minister for Health Simon Harris announced the establishment of a Covid-19 nursing home expert panel.
This panel, which will strive to examine the national and international measures in response to Covid-19, will report to Minister Harris in June to help inform best practice in this key battleground in the fight against the current pandemic.
The establishment of the panel follows a recent National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) recommendation.
“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,” Harris said.
“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 those who call nursing homes their home.”
The high-level expert panel will be chaired by Professor Cecily Kelleher, Principal of the College of Health and Agriculture Sciences at UCD.
Professor Kelleher will be joined by Professor Cillian Twomey (retired geriatrician), Petrina Donnelly, group director of nursing at RCSI Hospital Group, and Bridget Doherty, representing the public interest.
“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,” Harris concluded.