Our Work

We deal with individual people and/or their families who have been damaged by or had some type of bad experience with the healthcare system. We offer support to people wishing to make complaints to the HSE, Individual Hospitals, Medical Council, Bord Altranais or any other regulatory body. But most important of all we are here to listen to every story and to provide whatever support or assistance that may be required.

Our methods include but are not limited to:

We provide a point of contact and support direct to a patient and or their family by:

  • Ready access by telephone/fax/email
  • A full independent advocacy service under the patient‚Äôs direction,
  • Attending meetings with patients/clients and/or families
  • Supporting families at Inquests/Court hearings etc.
  • Gathering and discussing documentation
  • Maintaining contact with the patient/client and/or family throughout the process until resolution is achieved
  • Ensuring that evident service deficiencies are highlighted within the service, so that future patients will benefit from active risk reduction/management.
  • We engage in regular dialogue on Patient Safety issues with Service Providers, Professional Colleges and Institutions, Staff Representative Organisations and the Regulatory Bodies. Providers include the HSE, hospitals, other institutions and voluntary groups or individuals involved in health-related service provision.
  • We are also available to societal groups and/or their representatives reflecting persons with special health needs. As a matter of principle, we undertake to uphold the confidentiality of all personal information, and to make access to our services as simple as circumstances allow.
  • We try to increase awareness throughout society and specifically amongst healthcare service providers about the patient's perspectives of healthcare as we understand it. This includes our involvement in the education of providers at many levels, also participation in conferences, seminars and similar meetings, and publicising our activities through the media.
  • Communication with the Political system through Oireachtas members, Local Councillors, Political Parties and others in order to influence policies relating to healthcare.
  • We try and maintain a news feature on our web-site. We have linked our site to other related sites, and to health-related sites of interest in Ireland and elsewhere.
  • We seek to improve our own effectiveness through training, audit of our activities and other quality initiatives, and by establishing contact with relevant Irish and international patient support organisations.
  • We maintain primary loyalty to patients and/or their families and independence from the State or any other provider, other than in the provision of statutory functions provided by legislation.
  • Our services are available to any person in Ireland or abroad. We are not a membership organisation, because people cannot predict their future need of services such as ours.

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Cases we have dealt with

The MRSA Virus

MRSA infections occur mostly in hospitals and healthcare facilities, with a higher incident rate in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Rates of MRSA infection are also increased in hospitalised patients who are treated with quinolones. Healthcare provider to patient transfer is common, especially when healthcare providers move from patient to patient without performing necessary handwashing techniques between patients. However, it should be noted that MRSA can cause infections outside of hospitals as well.

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Symphysiotomy

We provide support to a group of women who underwent this procedure. There are approximately 150 women in this group from all over the country. This is a group facilitated by Patient Focus.
Many of them suffer from serious side-effects of this operation. Many are in terrible pain and feel very angry that this operation was performed on them when a Caesarean Section should have been done instead. They never received a proper explanation about the procedure and the possible side-effects, in fact some of them were never told that they had the procedure and only found out many years later. Many of them did not consent to having this procedure.

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Lourdes Hospital Inquiry

The Inquiry considered many submissions and interviewed a wide range of Medical and Nursing staff, Management, GPs, Members of regulatory and training bodies, patients and others. Almost 320 interviews with 280 witnesses were conducted.

The facts uncovered by the Inquiry revealed that any isolated institution which fails to have in place a process of outcome review by peers and benchmark comparators can produce similar scandals as those which occurred in the Lourdes Hospital.

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