Patient Experience Voice Vital To Improving Health Services

Iolo Eilian
Iolo Eilian

The objective of the HSE Patient and Service user Experience was to facilitate partnering with patients, service users, family members and carers in the planning, design, development and improvement of services at strategic and policy level, its newly appointed Senior Manager, Iolo Eilian told a HMI West seminar.

Mr. Eilian said the PSUE Team currently sits in the Office of the National Director, Operational Performance and Integration but with the Centre Review they will be moving to the Office of the Chief Executive.

PSUE was established in 2015 as the National Quality Improvement Division which grew from the National Advocacy Unit, established in 2010.

PSUE works very closely with the HSE National Patient and Service User Forum which is Chaired and Co-Chaired Independently to the HSE. Its membership has representatives of advocacy organisations, disability organisations, patient groups, individual patients, family members and carers. 

Mr. Eilian said, “The first point of reference for HSE National directorates and programmes when seeking an input from patient involvement partners into policy and programme development is to link in through my team where we will support you step by step to ensure the process works as smoothly as possible.”

He said that they worked very closely with Patients for Patient Safety Ireland (PFPSI) which was established in 2013.  It was part of World Health Organisation initiative aimed at improving patient safety in health care.  It involved people who experienced serious harm or health of a loved one in the Irish health care system working collaboratively with healthcare staff.  It had an independent Chair/Co-Chair and Terms of Reference. Find out more about PFPSI from:

Examples of its involvement were Open Disclosure, Incidents Management, Sepsis Management, Antimicrobial Resistance and Medication Safety.

Mr. Eilian said examples of the PSUE team work included:

  • Patient Representative Forum on Medical Card Eligibility
  • Patient stories in the Incident Management Framework.
  • Capturing patient perspectives in NOCA National Audit Reports (ICU, Major Trauma, Irish Hip Fracture Database).
  • National Electronic Health Record Programme – 18 patients recruited for a number of project groups.
  • HSE Leadership Academy – patients participated in the recording of videos for the course content and take part in interactive workshops.
  • National Health and Social Care Professions Office Innovation and Best Practice Awards
  • National Screening Service Patient and Public Partnership (PPI) Panel and NSS Patient and Public Partnership strategy
  • Patient partners on QPSD and Strategy and Research management teams.
  • PSUE was working with Heath Regions Design Team and Forum, with Sláintecare 2024-2028,
  • National Service Plan 2024, National Training Implementation of Roadmap 2023/2024/2025,
  • Need Policy by Department of Health and Re Imbursement for Patient/Service User/Carer – DOH Policy/HSE.

Three key areas for prioritising 2023 -2024 for the team is the PSUE Strategy, PSUE National Training Plan and Implementation and of course the second Annual Conference that will be held in October 2024.

Another significant area of work the team was responsible for was the National Care Experience Programme. This was a joint initiative from HIQA, the HSE and the Department of Health.

“We ask people about their experiences of care in order to improve the quality of health and social care services in Ireland. We currently are leading on seven National Surveys across Community and Acute services.

“If health and/or healthcare is on the table, then the consumer  – public, patient, family member- must be at the table, every table, he said, quoting Lucian Leape,  a physician and professor at Harvard School of Public Health, who had been active in trying to improve the medical system to reduce medical error.

Mr.Eilian said that healthcare staff and professionals all had a bit of the big picture. Healthcare Staff and Professionals had clinical experience, experience of relationships with patients, administrative experience, system knowledge and some bias.  Patients and families had lived experience that included experience of relationships with healthcare professionals, experience of “self,” experience of the healthcare system, living with specific conditions and of course caring for loved ones.