Advocacy is about listening, supporting and enabling people to find answers. Its raw material is the patient’s story. Its focus is the patient’s stated wishes. The patient’s time with us can be as short or as long as they decide. Through this we support patients and their families as they go through what can sometime be a difficult, painful and protracted process.
Through advocacy, Patient Focus helps to obtain medical records, attend meetings with appropriate professionals, explain processes, accompany patients to reviews, investigations, hearings or even to court if needed.
Patient Focus have access to and familiarity with the appropriate people within the health care, regulatory and legal systems. We also assist people to access counsellors, doctors, coroners offices, doctors, lawyers as appropriate.
Patient and Person Centered Approach
Our approach is patient and person centered. It is very important to go at the person’s pace and we are led by them at all times about the decisions they make. This approach springs from the view that the individual person’s dignity, autonomy and power of decision making must be protected. It also springs from our experience of the damage that can occur in healthcare.
Staff members of PF have been involved in advocacy since 1996. In a short space of time the extent of the damage suffered by some patients became very clear. Sometimes this damage and hurt lasts a life time. As we listened to many sad and distressing personal histories we resolved that the system itself needed to listen and take notice of damaged patients and their relatives. They are no longer willing to be written out of the history of the practice of medicine. Damaged patients often feel they are placed in corners and forgotten about, treated as an embarrassment by the very people and institutions tasked with their care.