INMO: View of nurses should be represented on new Covid-19 Advisory Group

The group, which is to replace the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), has been established to guide Ireland through the next stage of the pandemic.
INMO: View of nurses should be represented on new Covid-19 Advisory Group

The view of nurses should be represented as part of the Government's new Covid-19 Advisory Group, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said.

The advisory group, which is to replace the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), has been established to guide Ireland through the next stage of the pandemic.

Some 20 members of the Covid-19 Advisory Group announced by the Department of Health on Friday evening include former Nphet members Dr Tony Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn, Dr Colm Henry, Professor Philip Nolan and Professor Mary Horgan.

Other members of the new group include professors Luke O'Neill and Paddy Mallon, as well as other consultants, professors and lecturers.

Following the announcement, the INMO said it was a mistake to exclude their profession from the newly established group.

"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," INMO deputy general secretary, Edward Mathews said.

"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.

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

Speaking to Newstalk, Mr Mathews said nurses' frontline experience should be considered.

"We welcome the perspective of fresh thinking but nursing and midwifery is not at all represented in the new group," Mr Mathews said.

"What is very important is that Covid-19 continues to have very significant impacts on the health service.

"Nurses and midwives are the single largest group of health professionals and are able to provide an on the ground perspective in relation to how Covid-19 is effecting the health service 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

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