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Public Consultation on Patient Voice Partners Policy in Irish Health and Social Care Launched

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has launched a public consultation on a draft national policy for the remuneration of certain categories of patient representatives to be known as “Patient Voice Partners” who sit on committees and working groups in the Irish health and social care sector.

The Department of Health developed the draft national patient voice partner policy to acknowledge the central role that patients have to play in the development of health policy and the reform of health services.

The development of the policy was informed by the significant contribution that patient representatives make on an ongoing basis to the work of the Department of Health, the HSE and healthcare organisations.

Launching the public consultation, Minister Donnelly said, “the government is committed to recognising the value of patient representation in all aspects of health service development, reform and implementation. Where people are working in partnership with health services at an appropriate level, we will recognise their contribution through remuneration.”

This supports the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy 2018 and its commitment to involving patients and service users in the design and delivery of the full range of actions identified in the Implementation Strategy. The feedback from this public consultation will inform some of the critical aspects of the draft national patient voice partner policy and support this important work.

The policy will impact on a wide range of stakeholders right across the health and social care sector including public and private health and social care service providers as well as health and social care regulators, educators, and other relevant bodies and organisations. The Department of Health wishes to obtain the views of those stakeholders, patient representatives, service users and the wider public. The findings will inform the final version of the policy due to be published later this year.

Minister Donnelly said, “actively involving the public from the outset represents a cultural shift to one of mutual benefit for the public, patients and healthcare providers. Patients themselves are experts in their own experience and a person-centred approach in the context of healthcare delivery values patient representatives as active participants in the health service. I’m pleased to launch this public consultation on the draft policy and look forward to hearing people’s views.”

Submissions and information from the public consultation will be analysed by the National Patient Safety Office in the Department of Health who will compile and publish a consultation report later this year.

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