The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD and Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, welcome a new contract for the continuation and expansion of the Patient Advocacy Service
The Patient Advocacy Service (PAS) provides a free and independent national service to help people accessing healthcare to make or intending to make a formal complaint, regarding the care they have received. Today, a contract for the continued provision of the Patient Advocacy Service (PAS) has been awarded to the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities. This contract will run from 2022 to 2027.
PAS is a critical support to patients and families who have been through a serious patient safety incident or who are pursuing a complaint and often, in their view, enables them to participate in HSE incident review processes or make complaints more effectively.
In its first two full years of service (2019-2021), PAS received approximately 1,600 contacts from service users, which resulted in the service providing advocacy support on over 4,000 individual complaints issues. In an external evaluation carried out in 2021, over 85% of respondents indicated that the support they received from PAS was helpful.
Following the awarding of the contract, Minister Donnelly said:
‘I am delighted to approve this contract, the Patient Advocacy Service provides essential independent support for people using our health services. This service empowers people to make a complaint when they are unhappy with the service they have received. The next contract will see the continued expansion of this service from acute hospitals to nursing homes and will explore advocacy in Mental Health Services.’
‘This engagement of service users with the Patient Advocacy Service provides us with a unique opportunity to learn and improve in the way health services are delivered in this country.’
Welcoming the new contract, Minister Butler said:
‘The continued expansion of the Patient Advocacy Service, in providing support to nursing home residents in making a complaint regarding the care they have received, is both a positive and essential development to empower residents in shaping and improving their care. I also welcome the expansion of the service to explore advocacy in Mental Health Services.