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Pike, Brigid (2008) Service users to have a great voice in the health service. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 27, Autumn 2008 , p. 10.

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On 6 May 2008 the National strategy for service user involvement in the Irish health service 2008–2013 was launched.1 Comprising seven goals, the Strategy will build on current good practice in involving service users (i.e. patients, their families, voluntary and community organisations) across the country.  The goals are outlined as follows:

1.    Commitment and leadership. Managers and clinicians at all levels will demonstrate their commitment to the development of service user involvement in the planning, development, delivery and evaluation of the health services and will report on the implementation of the strategy to the HSE Management Team.
 
2.    A systematic approach to effective service user involvement. The planning of service user involvement will be carried out in a systematic manner in which strategy development and methods of involvement are based on a clear understanding of desired outcomes.
 
3.    Patient involvement in their own care. Models of patient care delivery must continue to develop the role of the ‘expert patient’, especially those with long-term illnesses, in developing their own care plan and in looking after their own condition.
 
4.    A Patients Charter. A rolling programme setting out what patients should expect from the health services will be developed with service quality standards for service users.
 
5.    Specific work will ensure the involvement of children, young people and socially excluded groups. All involvement work must make specific efforts to ensure the participation of children, young people and socially excluded groups.
 
6.    Develop existing service user structures. The HSE will evaluate existing mechanisms for service user involvement to ensure best practice is implemented throughout the country.
 
7.    Performance and development. Learning and development programmes aimed at meeting the development needs of service users and of health service staff will be an integral part of HSE training programmes.
Produced by the Department of Health and Children and the HSE in consultation with the Health Services National Partnership Forum, HIQA, advocacy groups and service users, the principles of the strategy apply to all who use health and social services, those who participate in health programmes and services and those who work in the health service. The HSE will implement the strategy nationally and will evaluate its success on an annual basis.
 
The Patients Charter will be based on models from other countries and will provide guarantees of service quality that patients can expect when using our health services.2 The HSE will develop clear strategic plans to promote and encourage service users, particularly those with chronic illnesses, to be active participants in their own care. These measures will lead to the review of consumer panels (in existence in many parts of the country), building on good practice and the development of a system of advocacy to support patients and clients.
 
1.   Department of Health and Children and the Health Service Executive, in consultation with the Health Services National Partnership Forum (2008) National strategy for service user involvement in the Irish health service 2008–2013.
2.   With regard to patient charters, action 46 of the National Drugs Strategy called for the development of a ‘service-user charter specific to treatment and rehabilitation facilities which would lead to a greater balance between the service user and the service provider’. Such a charter was seen as being particularly beneficial for drug misusers presenting for treatment with low levels of educational attainment or low self-esteem. In the mid-term review of the National Drugs Strategy, the Steering Group recommended that in future, where these charters were being developed, services should consult more widely with service users in the drafting of the charters (para. 5.17
Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 27, Autumn 2008
Date:2008
Page Range:p. 10
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 27, Autumn 2008
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
MM-MO Crime and law > Legal rights > Rights of persons who use substances (users)
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care delivery

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