NCRI to prioritise examining impact of pandemic on cancer services and outcomes

Newly appointed Director plans platform for clinicians to input into work of Registry

Prof. Deirdre Murray

The National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) is to prioritise examining the impact of Covid-19 on cancer diagnoses, treatment and, eventually, cancer outcomes as the data emerges, says newly appointed Director, Prof. Deirdre Murray.

As a priority, she intends to provide a platform for cancer patients and clinicians to input into the work of the Registry and to give NCRI the benefits of their insights and experience.

Keen to strengthen connections between the Registry and the health services in order to better support service planning and evaluation, she added: “I will be working with our stakeholders to maximise the use of cancer data and the Registry’s involvement in research.”

On a personal level, she told Irish Medical Times her ambition for the Registry was ‘to build on the work of my predecessors and develop a connected cancer Registry, providing reliable data within timebound periods to inform cancer services planning and delivery whilst enabling optimal use of the data for research’.

Prof. Murray’s dual role is Director of the NCRI and Professor of Cancer Epidemiology at University College Cork (UCC).

A Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, she has a Masters in Public Health from University College Dublin (UCD). She undertook her clinical training in Ireland and the UK and has almost two decades of experience as a Specialist in Public Health Medicine.

Prof. Murray has worked in the Health Service Executive’s (HSE’s) National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) since its inception, is a founding member of its Executive Management team, set up and led the NCCP’s Cancer Intelligence function.

She played a leading role in designing and developing the NCCP’s monitoring system to oversee the implementation of key strategic decisions, supporting quality assurance of cancer services and service improvement across the eight cancer centres and their satellite treatment units.

Her appointment has been welcomed by Chair, Prof. Jerome Coffey and Head of the College of Medicine and Health UCC, Prof. Helen Whelton. She succeeds Prof. Kerri Clough-Gorr.

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