Inaugural HSE Patient and Public Partnership Conference

Oct 25, 2023

Inaugural HSE Patient and Public Partnership Conference

“We know that health service staff working in partnership with patients and the public ultimately delivers better health outcomes. There is a way to go but this conference is an important opportunity for discussion & debate” Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly.

“Partnership with patients and service users needs to be a cornerstone of how we work across our health system and broader health sector” HSE CEO, Bernard Gloster.

On the 12th of October over over 470 people attended the Inaugural HSE Patient and Public Partnership Conference both in-person and online.

Christina Donnelly, National Coordinator, Chronic Pain Ireland attended the event online and states ‘this is a journey, there will be mistakes and lessons learnt along the way but it is a welcome first step. Putting patients front and centre is so important ensuring they are empowered to join the conversation, have a place at the table, are heard, and have the opportunity to drive policy, governance and form guidelines by working together with the HSE and the Department of Health.  At the end of the conference, I felt very positive and full of hope”.  She adds “Currently in a personal capacity I sit on a Department of Health National Clinical Effectiveness Committee as a patient representative sharing an equal and valued space with key stakeholders in patient safety,  contributing directly to the national endorsement of clinical guidelines and audit to optimise patient and service user care.  I can see first hand how changes are being addressed and the patient voice valued and represented”.

The Chairs of the Forum (Anne Lawlor, Chair of the HSE National Patient and Service User Forum and Laura Kavanagh Co-chair of the Forum) stated “Last week we took a chance, we tried something that hadn’t been tried before – we asked patients, service users, their family members, carers, and supporters, as well as the organisations which represent them to get in a room together with HSE staff (managers, clinical, and non-clinical) to chat about partnership.  The HSE Patient and Public Partnership Conference was a ‘leap of faith’ – in many respects a ‘test run’ in the hope of establishing a channel of communication between the patient and service user community and our HSE.

Through our conversations, presentations, and panel discussions, we explored how we embed partnership in our culture, governance, structures, services, policies, and planning. We had a lot to get through, we didn’t get to everything, but we made a start. We want to take more steps between now and next year’s second conference.

There seems to be a commitment to carry forward the partnership agenda on both sides, we now need to get down into the detail and work out how best to do this.

  • We will need to review the current mechanisms for partnering with patients and service users – are they fit for purpose, are they welcoming to all, do they have clear direction, do they have influence?
  • We will also need to assess the current resources allocated for partnering with patients and service users – how do we grow the PSUE office, how do we source staff with experience of partnership, how do we support our partners financially, how do we develop training resources, how do we administer a growing community of partners?
  • We will also need to formalise our vision for partnering with patients and service users – how do we develop a strategy, how do we support staff with policy and guidelines for partnership, how should we measure our performance, who should be involved in oversight?

We are excited about the future of partnership within the HSE and we look forward to helping to shape the path ahead”.

The HSE National Patient and Service User Forum is a community of likeminded individuals and groups who have an interest in partnership working across all aspects of the
HSE. This first conference was organised in partnership with the HSE National Patients Forum which is currently co-chaired by 22q11 and IPPOSI.

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