HIQA establishes Covid-19 expert group to support pandemic response

HIQA’s Covid-19 Expert Advisory Group met for the first time on September 29

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has announced details of an expert group to provide advice and support to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At present, the health watchdog’s advice to NPHET is informed by research from its Covid-19 Evidence Synthesis Team (EST).

Now, members of HIQA’s new Covid-19 Expert Advisory Group (EAG) will be expected to contribute to the work of EST as well as provide expert guidance outside of group meetings.

Under its terms of reference, the EAG – which met for the first time on September 29 – will also be expected to support the EST by providing access to pertinent data, review draft EST reports, and support the development of evidence-based advice from HIQA to NPHET.

Dr Máirín Ryan, HIQA’s Director of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and Deputy Chief Executive, commented that the watchdog was now taking the lead on developing evidence-based advice to inform the public health response during the current crisis.

“Since March 2020, HIQA’s HTA Directorate has been providing research evidence to support the work of NPHET, NPHET EAG, other NPHET subgroups and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre [HPSC], as part of the public health response to Covid-19,” Dr Ryan, who is Chair of the new group added.

“This work is in line with our functions under Section 8 of Health Act 2007,” she explained.

“Our work supports the diverse evidence needs of NPHET in leading the national public health response to Covid-19. This robust process will ensure that public health decisions continue to be informed by rapid access to the best available evidence relevant to the outbreak at each stage of the pandemic.”


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