An interim report by the Covid-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel has been published.

The report provides an update to the Minister for Health on the panel's work so far, its approach and the next steps.

The expert panel was established on foot of a NPHET recommendation in May, to examine the "complex issues" around the management of Covid-19 in nursing homes.

It is examining the national and international responses to the Covid-19 crisis and looking at emerging best practice with a view to providing immediate real-time learnings and recommendations in light of the expected ongoing impact of Covid-19 over the next 12-18 months.

The interim report says that to date, the panel has convened six core business meetings, 12 stakeholder engagement meetings with a total of 21 representative organisations or other bodies.

It says that the necessary data and evidence gathering are now at an advanced stage of completion and extensive stakeholder engagement process is also close to finalisation.

Arrangements have been made to engage with a number of residents/relatives in the week ahead to share their thoughts and experiences.

The report says that the panel is particularly anxious to hear from and understand the lived experience in nursing homes throughout the pandemic which will provide a substantial and important input into its deliberations with regard to its final report.

Its final report is expected to be published before the end of the month.