This conference, organised by the Policy Forum for Ireland, will assess priorities and next steps for addressing the impact of long COVID in Ireland.
Areas for discussion include developing and implementing research into long COVID, the state of specialised services in Ireland, and the implementation and development of the Model of Care, which recommended the development of eight post-acute and six long COVID clinics.
It will be a timely opportunity to discuss Ireland’s strategy for tackling long COVID following analysis from Denis Naughten TD - who is part-chairing this conference - which suggests that almost 340,000 people in Ireland could have been affected by long COVID. It also follows a motion forwarded by a regional group of TDs calling for swifter action to support those with long COVID, which secured unanimous Dáil Éireann support.
With the HSE now implementing the Model of Care for long COVID, and developing an epidemiological survey to gauge long COVID numbers in Ireland, delegates will assess the development of the model, workforce and recruitment priorities, and next steps for research and data.
We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Dr Siobhán Ní Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist & National Clinical Director, Integrated Care, HSE; and Professor John Lambert, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Genitourinary Medicine, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital; and Associate Professor, UCD School of Medicine.
Overall, sessions in the agenda will look at:
- the interim model of care: priorities for developing and creating a centralised care hub to provide support
- long COVID clinics: next steps for implementation - providing effective staffing and funding - tackling backlogs in access to long COVID clinics and relieving pressures on GP waiting lists
- patients: assessing and providing the support needed by those with long COVID and identifying those most at risk - options for workplace support and assisting those out of work to return quickly
- research: building on data from current long COVID and post-acute COVID clinics to inform future strategies - implementing effective surveillance to understand, scale and respond to the issues
- policy coordination: integrating responses with Sláintecare reforms and waiting list strategies.
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