Listening to the most vulnerable

 

Sir, – Dr Suzanne Cahill refers to the absence of residents’ voices in the Covid-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel report (“Nursing home report is evidence-based, clinical and technical but misses the human dimension”, Opinion & Analysis, August 24th).

Unfortunately, this is nothing new.

We have a long tradition of not listening to the most vulnerable in our society – children, the elderly, people with mental health difficulties, people with disabilities.

While we have taken great strides over the last number of years in ensuing that public policy is informed, to varying degrees, by those with lived experience, and we must take particular care to do so now as we try to live with a pandemic that is so rapidly and drastically reshaping the lives and experiences of us all.

Capturing the voices of people with lived experience should not be considered an optional extra. Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to meaningfully listen to the most vulnerable and voiceless within our society. – Yours, etc,

Dr EMMA FARRELL,

School of Education,

University College Dublin,

Dublin 4.