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Professor Chris Nugent, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Head of the School of Computing at Ulster University, has been appointed as a member of the Irish Government’s Commission on Care for Older People.

The Irish Government’s Programme for Government: Our Shared Future (2020) commits to the establishment of ‘a commission to examine care and supports for older people’.

The Commission on Care for Older People is charged with examining the provision of health and social care services and supports for older people across the continuum of care and with making recommendations to the Government for their strategic developments. It will also oversee the establishment of a cross-departmental group to examine how to optimise support for positive ageing across the life-course.

The launch of the Commission and the appointment of its members was announced by Irish Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, and Irish Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, with the Commission members providing expertise across the areas of geriatrics, gerontology, health economics, health policy and management, primary care, health ethics, health technologies, and ageing and disability, as well as representation of the community and voluntary sector and of older people.

More about Professor Chris Nugent:

Professor Chris Nugent holds the position of Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and he is based within the School of Computing at Ulster University.

In 2016, he was awarded the Senior Distinguished Research Fellowship from Ulster University.

His research within biomedical engineering addresses the themes of the development and evaluation of technologies to support ambient assisted living. Specifically, this has involved research in the topics of mobile based reminding solutions, activity recognition and behaviour modelling and technology adoption modelling.

He has published extensively in these areas with papers spanning theoretical, clinical and biomedical engineering domains.

Chris has been a grant holder of Research Projects funded by National, European and International funding bodies.

He is the co-PI of the Connected Health Innovation Centre at Ulster University and is actively involved in the developments of Centre for Digital Health Technologies as part of the Belfast Region City Deal.

On his appointment to the Commission on Care for Older people, Professor Chris Nugent said:

“I am delighted to have been provided with the opportunity to be a part of this Commission. This is a significant opportunity to offer recommendations for new developments in the provision of health and social care for older persons.”

Addressing the Commission at its inaugural meeting, Minister Mary Butler said :

"The breadth of the expertise and experience of the members of the Commission will ensure that the Commission’s deliberations and recommendations are informed by emerging good practice and lessons learned nationally and internationally.

"By appointing representatives of the community and voluntary sectors, and importantly of older people themselves, I am hopeful the Commission’s work will be better informed by the lived experience of older people across the country. This will ensure that we can deliver access to timely, high-quality, person-centred, integrated care in the most appropriate settings.

"I have every confidence that the work of the Commission will have a hugely positive and lasting impact on ensuring that Ireland remains one of the best countries in which to age well.”

The work of the Commission will be advanced through three modules, which will be undertaken sequentially, with the first two modules focusing on the provision of health and social care services and supports for older people and the creation of a framework for their overarching strategic development. The third module will focus on the development of a costed and detailed implementation plan for the selected options to enable positive ageing in Irish society.

The Commission will submit reports for the consideration of the Minister for Health and the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People at the conclusion of each module.