The Irish government has announced a new contract for the continuation and expansion of the Patient Advocacy Service (PAS).
The PAS provides a free and independent national service to help people accessing healthcare make a formal complaint regarding the care they have received.
A contract for the provision of the service from 2022 to 2027 was awarded to the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities.
In its first two full years of service (2019-2021), PAS received approximately 1,600 contacts from service users, which resulted in the service providing advocacy support on over 4,000 individual complaints issues.
In an external evaluation carried out in 2021, over 85% of respondents indicated that the support they received from PAS was helpful.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly (pictured), said: ‘I am delighted to approve this contract, the Patient Advocacy Service provides essential independent support for people using our health services. This service empowers people to make a complaint when they are unhappy with the service they have received. The next contract will see the continued expansion of this service from acute hospitals to nursing homes and will explore advocacy in Mental Health Services.
“This engagement of service users with the Patient Advocacy Service provides us with a unique opportunity to learn and improve in the way health services are delivered in this country.”