The health system in Northern Ireland: How is it structured and who makes decisions about COVID-19?

The health system in Northern Ireland: How is it structured and who makes decisions about COVID-19?

This article explains how the health system in Northern Ireland is structured, and who is responsible for COVID-19 planning and decision making.

[This article is part of the COVID-19 Information Dissemination (COVID-19 ID) Project — a partnership between Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) and FactCheckNI. Its aim is to improve people’s health literacy about COVID-19 by providing accurate and up-to-date information which will increase knowledge, understanding and confidence and enable people to make good health decisions.]

Summary

There is a huge amount of collaboration between health bodies around COVID-19 in Northern Ireland. But the division of responsibilities can be understood as follows:

    • Health policy is devolved to Northern Ireland, but there is a focus on coordination with the wider UK and the Republic of Ireland.
    • The Northern Ireland Executive is responsible for coordinating the overall response.
    • The Department of Health sets COVID-19 policy, regulations and health strategy.
    • The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) commissions services.
    • The Public Health Authority (PHA) collects information, issues advice and communicates key messages.
    • Health Trusts manage the day to day running of hospitals, health centres, residential homes and other health and social care facilities. The Northern Ambulance Service is also a Trust.

 

Continue reading The health system in Northern Ireland: How is it structured and who makes decisions about COVID-19?

New working partnership: COVID-19 Information Dissemination (COVID-19 ID) Project

Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) and FactCheckNI are delighted to be working in partnership on the COVID-19 Information Dissemination (COVID-19 ID) Project to improve people’s health literacy about COVID-19 by providing accurate and up-to-date information which will increase knowledge, understanding and confidence and enable people to make good health decisions.

The objectives of the project are:

    1. To disseminate official COVID-19 information
    2. To fact check unofficial information about COVID-19
    3. To counteract misinformation and identify gaps in information for people in communities about COVID-19
    4. To disseminate health literacy friendly COVID-19 information to CDHN and FactCheckNI networks
    5. To prioritise the dissemination of information about the role of pharmacies

CDHN has over 2,500 members and supports tens of thousands of people across Northern Ireland. They are NI’s leading organisation working to empower communities, improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. CDHN has particular expertise in health literacy, having developed and delivered training and provided support on health literacy to communities, pharmacists and other health and social care professionals.

FactCheckNI is Northern Ireland’s first and only dedicated independent fact checking service.  The organisation is verified by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and works under the fundamental principles of impartiality, transparency and accuracy. FactCheckNI is also part of Facebook’s third party fact-checking programme; this is part of Facebook’s efforts to minimise the spread of misinformation on its platform.  Find out more here


Please contact Orna by email or FactCheckNI online if:

  • You would like to receive official and fact-checked information
  • You have seen information about COVID-19 that you think should be fact checked
  • There is something you would like to know about COVID-19 and you can’t find it
  • There is information about COVID-19 that you would like to see/receive in a more health literate format

Website: www.factcheckni.org • Twitter: @FactCheckNI • Facebook: @factcheckni • Instagram: factcheckni_

It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths

It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
14 April 2020

UPDATED 20/4/2020

“The figures on deaths relate in almost all cases to patients who have died in hospital and who have tested positive for COVID-19. Slight differences in reporting in devolved administrations may mean that they include a small number of deaths outside hospital.” — Department of Health and Social Care (UK)

[This article is part of the COVID-19 Information Dissemination (COVID-19 ID) Project a partnership between Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) and FactCheckNI. Its aim is to improve people’s health literacy about COVID-19 by providing accurate and up-to-date information which will increase knowledge, understanding and confidence and enable people to make good health decisions.]

Continue reading It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths

Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland

Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland
by Jenny McENEANEY for FactCheckNI
8 April 2020

“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded… test, test, test.” That’s a summary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance to countries battling the global outbreak of COVID-19. Globally, there has been a variance in the rate of testing as countries battle to suppress and/or mitigate the spread of the virus. How does Northern Ireland fit into the global picture? How have we fared on testing to date and what is the target going forward? Continue reading Fighting a fire blindfolded? COVID-19 testing in Northern Ireland

Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics?

CLAIM: The Department of Health (England) needs the consent of families to release information of deceased relatives.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. While there has been a change in the timing of reporting of official statistics regarding the impact of COVID-19, there is no suggestion that family consent has any role in the registration of deaths or their statistical reporting. In Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency has stated that all deaths are a matter of public record. Continue reading Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics?