Patient Advocacy Service

Independent Patient Advocacy Service

The Minister for Health awarded the contract for the new independent Patient Advocacy Service in December 2018.  This service will support those wishing to make a complaint about their experience of the public health service; and provide support to patients who may have been affected by a patient safety incident.

Following a competitive tendering process, the contract to operate the new service was awarded to the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities.  It is anticipated that the service will become operational in the second half of 2019.

The Minister said “Patient Safety is at the core of our health service.  It is vital though that we also ensure a person-centered approach for patients and service users when something goes wrong in their care or treatment.  The new Independent Patient Advocacy Service will provide a free, independent and confidential service to help those who wish to make a complaint about the health service.”  The awarding of this contract is a significant step towards addressing the important concerns raised to ensure that we have a responsive, compassionate and supportive approach to assisting people when they are unhappy with their care.”

Commenting for the National Advocacy Service, Louise Loughlin, National Manager said that they were delighted to be able to develop a new, free and independent advocacy service for patients.

A programme to enable the establishment of the service, and recruitment and training of advocates, will now commence.  Following that process, it is anticipated that the service will become operational in the second half of 2019.

The advocates engaged by the service will adhere to the Competency Framework for Patient Safety and Complaint Advocacy Services and will be required to enrol on and complete the training programme run in 2019 by the Open Training College on behalf of the Department of Health.

Press Release – Minister announces the award of the contract for the Independent Patient Safety Advocacy Service