Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (447)

Fergus O'Dowd


447. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the funding that will be made available to the patient safety advocacy service in 2020; the number of staff that will be employed; and the expected level of demand for the services it will offer. [44258/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Independent Patient Advocacy Service (PAS) was commissioned by the Department of Health arising from approval given by the Government and from recommendations contained in HIQA’s Portlaoise Report (2015), and the Ombudsman’s report, "Learning to Get Better" (2015). This service will provide free and independent support and empowerment advocacy for anyone wishing to make a formal complaint about the care or treatment they received in the health service and for anyone who has been involved in a patient safety incident. The service will initially be provided for the public acute hospital sector and will extend to the community in 2020.

The funding allocated to the Patient Advocacy Service in 2020 is approximately €1.6 million. The Service, which will be formally launched later this month, currently employs 8 staff including a Service Manager, a Team Lead and 6 Advocacy Officers. A second Team Lead will commence in November 2019. In 2020 the service will expand to approximately 20 Advocacy Officers, 4 Team Leads, a Service Manager as well as corporate supports.

As this is a new service, the service level activity will be monitored closely over the coming months to inform the expected level of demand, and the service delivery model.