In general, advocacy services are funded directly by the HSE rather than by my Department. I have therefore referred your question to the HSE, so that they may reply directly to you on this matter.
However, the Department of Health did provide a small amount of funding to support advocacy services, with a grant funding agreement being put in place in late 2018 with the Irish Cancer Society, acting on behalf of the CervicalCheck Patient Support Group. The Support Group received €150,167 in 2018 to establish a service to provide information, advice and support in a structured and confidential manner to patients and next of kin of those directly affected by the CervicalCheck screening programme and subsequent ongoing official enquiries and investigations. The Support Group had one permanent employee and three voluntary patient representatives as of December 2018.
In addition, the Department of Health commissioned the establishment of a national Patient Safety Advocacy Service in 2018. The service contract was awarded in December 2018. A first payment of €197,100.00 was made in December 2018 to enable the establishment of the service and allow it to commence recruitment and source necessary facilities for the commencement of activities in the second half of 2019.
In May 2018, on an exceptional, once-off basis, funding of €195,000 was provided by the Department to the Irish Deaf Society, an organisation involved in advocacy for the deaf community.