The Patient Advocacy Service provides free, independent and confidential information. Photo: Luis Melendez

Advocacy group to help Leeside patients

A new advocacy group says it can offer support to people across Cork who want to make a complaint about the care they’ve received in a public hospital.

The Patient Advocacy Service (PAS) provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in an HSE-funded public acute hospital.

A spokesperson explained: “The PAS can support people with any complaint they have about their experience in a public acute hospital, for example rude behaviour or an unexpected outcome in their treatment.”

The spokesperson told the Cork Independent: “The service's advocacy officers do not carry out campaigning or activism work, and do not comment publicly in relation to individual’s cases.

“Advocacy officers do not take sides on an issue, they empower people to make complaints themselves. Advocacy officers seek to ensure that a process is fair, and the individual’s views, concerns and decisions are adequately addressed.”

The spokesperson said it does not help when it comes complaints about private hospitals.

The spokesperson explained: “The PAS provides information and support to people who want to make a formal complaint through the HSE Your Service, Your Say complaints policy about the care they have experienced in a HSE-funded public acute hospital.

“If a person has a complaint about a private hospital, they should complain directly to the hospital,” added the spokesperson.

They continued: “The professionally trained independent advocate will support and empower the person making the complaint, with the aim of highlighting their views and concerns. The advocate will explain to the person how to write a formal complaint and what to include in it.

“They will also help the person prepare for meetings with the HSE about their complaint, and they will help the person explore their options following a response from the HSE to their complaint,” concluded the spokesperson.

The PAS confidential helpline can be contacted on 0818-293003. The helpline is open Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm.

You can also email info@patientadvocacyservice.ie.

The PAS was commissioned by the National Patient Safety Office in the Department of Health and is provided by the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities.

The PAS receives no funding from the HSE and is therefore fully independent of the HSE.

For more see, patientadvocacyservice.ie.

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