Joint committee launches report on health advocacy in order to safeguard rights of vulnerable individuals

Elected representatives have experienced difficulties making representations to hospitals and other health services on behalf of constituents, a report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children states.

The cross-party group wants the HSE to consider giving more formal recognition to the role of advocates who are working to support vulnerable clients.

In its ‘Report on the Role of Advocacy in Health and Social Care Services in Ireland,’ published yesterday, the committee says the lack of statutory powers for advocates can prevent them from accessing or supporting clients.

Any new patient advocacy service should be independent of the HSE and funding should be ring-fenced and independent of the service provider.

Committee chair Jerry Buttimer said: “The Joint Committee on Health and Children acknowledges the important role that advocates can play in supporting decision-making by people with disabilities, vulnerable patients, and users of health and social services.”

He said that at a meeting last November, stakeholders identified barriers which can prevent access to patients and other clients.

“The report aims to address some of these barriers, in order to safeguard the rights of vulnerable individuals,” he said.


Lifestyle

Four graduates tell Siobhan Howe how their fine art degree has influenced their approach to their working life.What use is a degree in fine art? Four graduates answer the question

Terry Gilliam tells Esther McCarthy about the mystery woman who helped him to finally get his Don Quixote film made after 30 yearsTerry Gilliam: Back in the saddle again

Twitch will no longer be the home of esports for Call of Duty, Overwatch and Hearthstone, with those games (and more) going to YouTube instead.Violence in the stream: Big changes for esports

That may say more about how the media treats flaws and beauty than it says about Alicia Keys herself, but nevertheless, it was refreshing at the time to see someone say no to the Hollywood expectations of beauty.The Skin Nerd: Unlocking Alicia Keys’ secrets to gorgeous skin

More From The Irish Examiner