The speakers for this webinar are: Dr. Kieran Walsh and Dr. Laura Comber (HIQA). Dr Kieran Walsh and Dr Laura Comber are HTA Research Analysts with HIQA, based in the Cork and Dublin offices, respectively. Currently, they are working on the COVID-19 Evidence Synthesis Team developing evidence-based advice to inform policy questions from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to support their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally form Tipperary, Kieran completed a PhD in UCC on the topic of antipsychotic prescribing in people with dementia, prior to joining HIQA in 2018. Kieran is a qualified pharmacist and continues to practice in community pharmacy. Laura is a physiotherapist by background and originally from Limerick. After completing her PhD in the area of falls in people with multiple sclerosis at UL, she went on to lecture in the School of Allied Health at UL before joining HIQA in 2019.
This webinar will discuss the experience of the HIQA COVID-19 Evidence Synthesis Team. HIQA develops evidence-based advice in response to requests from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). The advice is informed by research evidence developed by the team with expert input from HIQA’s COVID-19 Expert Advisory Group (EAG). This process helps to ensure rapid access to the best available evidence relevant to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and is used to inform decision-making at each stage of the pandemic. For this webinar, Kieran and Laura will focus on two recent policy questions posed by NPHET. The first related to the duration of self-isolation, and the second was in relation to restriction of movements. These are two key public health measures that are critical for controlling the pandemic. This webinar will outline the steps involved in developing evidence-based advice for NPHET. The Evidence Synthesis Team is currently in the process of expanding.