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‘Inadequate’ public health team resourcing on HSE risk register

There is a risk to the ongoing effective management of the pandemic because of “inadequate and sustained resourcing of public health teams”, according to the HSE corporate risk register.

The same risk applies to contact tracing capacity and infection prevention and control (IPC) teams, including IPC nursing in community services.
The updated risk register, dated October 2020 and approved by the HSE board at its December meeting, notes 26 risks. The majority are influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As with the previous risk register (June 2020), this document highlights risks within integrated testing and contact tracing.

“There is a risk the test and trace service will be unable to respond in a sufficiently robust and agile way across the end-to-end service pathway to the evolving capacity demands of the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a failure to efficiently and effectively control the spread of the virus within the population,” according to the document seen by the Medical Independent (MI).

The restoration of core health service activity, while retaining surge capacity for Covid-19, is also listed on the register.

The HSE faces a financial risk “arising from the ongoing pressure of responding effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic together with the added complexity of delivering effective health and social care services”.

An Executive spokesperson told MI that it “recognises the importance of adopting a proactive approach to the management of risk to support both the achievement of objectives and compliance with governance requirements”.

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