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COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Publishes Final Report

COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Publishes Final Report


The COVID-19 Nursing Home Expert Panel, chaired by (opens in a new window)Professor Cecily Kelleher, College Principal for the College of Health and Agricultural Sciences UCD, released their (opens in a new window)report on the 19th of August 2020.

The panel was established by outgoing Minister for Health Simon Harris following a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). Professor Kelleher was joined on the panel by Professor Cillian Twomey (Retired Geriatrician), Petrina Donnelly, Group Director of Nursing, (opens in a new window)RCSI Hospital Group, and Bridget Doherty, representing the public interest.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly advised that the Expert Panel was

"established to examine how we and other countries have responded to the COVID-19 crisis, and to look at the emerging best practice in dealing with what is a new and highly infectious disease. "

The panel examined 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. The Expert Panel took a comprehensive approach to its work including undertaking an extensive stakeholder engagement process, data analysis, and an international evidence review.

The report contained a range of 86 recommendations in line with lessons learned to date and international best practice, aimed at safeguarding the residents in nursing homes over the next 12-18 months and into the longer term.

At the launch of the report Professor Kelleher advised:

"The Panel’s work has been guided by the principles of in-action and after-action reviews where lessons learned in real time are acted upon. This is not simply to identify those lessons learned but to seek to apply these insights in a tighter timescale in order to improve the outcome of the ongoing response. In Ireland and internationally nursing home residents, families and staff have felt a heavy impact of pandemic. Our report reflects on this and is forward looking to ensure ongoing protection and support for nursing homes residents. Our recommendations also reflect that systematic reform is needed in the way nursing home care and older persons care is delivered."

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