• #COVIDWATCH, endorsed as an ICGP/UL collaboration, this provides daily updates on the national COVID crisis using reliable, validated information on Twitter (UL PI lead Prof. Liam Glynn and GP Mike O’Callaghan)
  • National Epidemiological Group. Led by Coordinated by Philip Nolan in Maynooth, MACSI members, Professors James Gleeson and Cathal Walsh, along with their respective research groups are contributing to building and testing models for case numbers and hospital demand. Specifically, UL members are helping with coding and parameter sensitivity analysis. 
  • UL members have liaised with Peter Tanham, who is coordinating technical proposals in the national task force. Dr Jim Buckley has contributed to the review of both national and international contact tracing apps for national consideration, given the issues of GDPR, stage of development, accessibility, integration, merging data, geo-mapping options etc. TRACE TOGETHER has been adopted by the DoH.
  • UL academic, Professor Stephen Kinsella, is working with DPER on a new employer support programme
  • The University is collaborating with Scoilnet on the provision of an online platform for the support of teachers/schools in the provision of interactive teaching tools for Leavinf Cert students. This initiative led by Professor Conor Ryan, a member of Lero, the SFI Centre for Software Engineering, is supported by an industry partner, and has contributions for academic, technical and administrative staff across UL.
  • UL are collaborating with HSE corporate on supporting the national contact tracing efforts. Led by Professor Rachel Msetfi, Dean of the Faculty of Educational and Health Sciences, this involves either the direct interaction of our Health students on telephone calls with patients identified as COVID positive or the training/supervision of remotely based Limerick revenue staff to conduct the same.
  • UL staff members in the Health Research Institute and the Clinical Research Support Unit are collaborating with the HSE on the development of an evidence based Clinical Guidance platform to provide a central repository for all healthcare staff.
  • The University are collaborating with the UHL-HSE in the digitization of the UL hospital maps for use on a software system for tracking of hospital acquired infection, which can be adapted for use on COVID-19. UL staff member Professor Tiziania Margaria, member of the SFI Research Centres CONFIRM, Centre for Smart Manufacturing and Lero, National Centre for Software Enginerring.
  • The Autism@UL Special Interest Group are compiling advice on supporting wellness in autistic adults, and parents of children with autism for the HSE. The request for this came from HSE Community Relations via UL's Practice Education team and the group have responded very quickly to compile key advice and recommendation. that can be viewed here. The group are very well placed to do so as its membership includes autistic people, parents, clinicians and researchers. 

School of Allied Health Activity to support the community during COVID-19

Supporting people with chronic health conditions

Physiotherapy students in their final year of placement are supporting people with chronic health conditions, who are unable to receive their usual face-to-face healthcare at present, making direct contact with clients to providing education and exercise advice using Telehealth technology. The students are completing lesson plans related to these clients, and the Physiotherapy Practice Education team at UL monitors their progress.

To date we have worked with the following groups.

  • HSE: Acute Hospital & Community Care: Parkinson’s Disease Group, COPD outreach.
  • Arthritis Ireland: Community based group
  • COPD Community support groups Limerick, Clare, North Tipperary

We are developing further telehealth initiatives with other HSE groups (Musculoskeletal triage, Stroke) and voluntary bodies (Acquired Brain Injury Ireland).

Physiotherapy Practice Education Team

Marie O’Donnell - Practice Education Co-Ordinator, Physiotherapy

Andrea Dunne - Regional Placement Facilitator, Physiotherapy

Alison Holmes - Practice Tutor, Physiotherapy

Jane Kavanagh - Regional Placement Facilitator, Physiotherapy

Lexi Keating - Physiotherapy Regional Placement Facilitator

Sarah Kennedy - Practice Tutor, Physiotherapy   

Elaine Kelly - Regional Placement Facilitator, Physiotherapy

Jimmy Burke - Interprofessional Practice Tutor

Supporting return to practice

Dr Roisin Cahalan is working with cardiorespiratory specialist lecturers across Ireland to develop an ICU training programme to upskill physiotherapists who have been redeployed to work with COVID-19 patients. A number of SAH staff are working as assessors with CORU to help support speedy processing of a large number of new applications, ensuring that clinicians can get into frontline duties as soon as possible.

Supporting children and their parents and teachers

UL established a partnership with the NCSE (National Council for Special Education) a number of years ago to build capacity to support children in schools and to research the process and impact of establishing therapy services with the NCSE. During the current closure of schools and the shift to online service delivery, the UL NCSE Occupational Therapy team (lead by Dr. Judi Pettigrew with Dr Katie Robinson and Eimear Ni Riain) and the UL NCSE Speech and Language Therapy team (lead by Dr. Carol-Anne Murphy with Dr. Aileen Wright and Emeritus Professor Sue Franklin) have worked to offer information support and guidance to parents of children.  Both groups have created online resources to address a wide range of needs. NCSE Occupational therapists, Dr. Brian Fitzgerald and Shona O’Donnell, have created a series of resources for parents to support their children’s learning at home through occupation during the Covid-19 emergency. The resources cover areas such as motor skills, play and self-regulation for children and teens.  The NCSE Speech and Language therapists (Aoife Murphy, Patricia Donnelly, Jessica McCluskey, Sarah Brady) have developed a number of resources designed to be used by parents, teachers and students during the school closure period. They focus on different areas of speech and language development in Primary & Post-Primary students, for example, vocabulary learning strategies, stammering and reading comprehension supports. The resources are free to download and can be saved electronically or printed.

The NCSE has informed us that in the week ending April 3rd, over 27,000 people accessed the new resources section of the website.

COVID-19 alerts for UL Community