We would like to begin by thanking Chairman, Deputy Jerry Buttimer and other members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children for your invitation to speak to you on the occasion of the publication of the HIQA Report into Portlaoise Hospital. I would also like to thank the Clerk of the Committee and his staff. Their help was invaluable in putting together this presentation at such short notice.
I would like to begin by telling you about Patient Focus and patient advocacy. Most important I will explain a little about our involvement in the Portlaoise scandal. I would also like to tell you about the beginnings of Patient Focus and what we have achieved through advocacy to date. I have provided a back up document Problems Patients Experience concerning the most common problems experienced by patients who contact us and how we endeavour to help them through advocacy.
Patient Focus is an Irish national patient advocacy service. We were set up in 1999 and established as a company limited by guarantee shortly afterwards. We have charitable status. We have 4 staff and are funded by the HSE at the rate of €216,000 per annum.