29 February, 2024
Expert Advisory Panel appointed to review opportunities for new programmes in Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, and Veterinary
By Maura O'Shea
Posted: 31 January, 2023
The Higher Education Authority is pleased to announce the appointment of an Expert Advisory Panel to review opportunities for new programmes in Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, and Veterinary.
The panel is comprised of representatives from Government Departments and regulatory and professional bodies that have direct professional experience and/or academic expertise in the relevant disciplines, or knowledge of the higher education system at a senior level.
From the Department of Health, representing Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, respectively, is Chief Dental Officer, Dr Dymphna Kavanagh, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Louise Hendrick, Chief Nursing Officer, Rachel Kenna, and Pharmacist, Damhnait Gaughan. Dr Martin Blake, Chief Veterinary Officer, represents the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
David O’Flynn, Registrar of the Dental Council, Sheila McClelland, CEO of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, Dr Suzanne Crowe, President of the Irish Medical Council, Dr Nicola Tyers, Pharmacist and nominated representative of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, and Niamh Muldoon, Registrar of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, represent the professional and regulatory bodies aligned to the disciplines within scope of this process.
Government and professional/regulatory representatives are joined on the Expert Advisory Panel by four members of the HEA Executive, including the CEO, Dr Alan Wall, who is the Chair.
Dr Wall welcomed the commencement of the Expert Advisory Panel’s work:
“The Expert Advisory Panel brings together the highest level of Government and regulatory and professional expertise in Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, and Veterinary to review opportunities in the higher education sector to contribute to addressing national skills needs. This HEA initiative will produce a range of viable options for enhanced programme provision in these disciplinary areas for onward consideration by Government and further scrutiny by the appropriate regulatory authorities.”
Minister Harris thanked the HEA and the Expert Advisory Panel for reviewing applications.
“Planning for current and future public sector skills needs is a priority for my Department. I have committed to substantial increases in training places across healthcare professions and in Veterinary. This needs to be done in a sustainable and managed way, to the highest standards and the process underway will allow for this to happen. I look forward to receiving the recommendations from the HEA and to working across Government to deliver these opportunities for students and the healthcare system.”
The Expert Advisory Panel will review 19 applications for new programme provision. These applications form the second phase of a capacity building process initiated by the HEA in October 2022, which generated 39 Expressions of Interest (EoI) in programme expansion and new provision from 15 institutions. The HEA reviewed EoI relating to new programme provision and issued invitations to the second phase of the process. EoI that relate to programme expansion are currently under review as part of the HEA’s annual budget process.
The HEA will consider opportunities for new programme provision alongside options for programme expansion to determine a final list of options to present to Government in March 2023.
Table 1: Members of the Expert Advisory Panel