The Patient Advocacy Service has been commissioned by the Department of Health. An office in the Department of Health called the National Patient Safety Office published a tender in October 2018 to develop the new Patient Advocacy Service.
An organisation called the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) was successful in this tender process and has developed the new Patient Advocacy Service. You can find out more about NAS, the NAS Board, Annual Reports etc. on the NAS website advocacy.ie
In addition to the Patient Advocacy Service, NAS provides an independent, representative advocacy service to people with disabilities across a variety of issue areas. NAS was established by and is funded and supported in its advocacy for people with disabilities by the Citizens Information Board.
NAS is a company registered with charitable status. NAS is a fully professional service across both its advocacy for people with disabilities and patient complaint advocacy. NAS is funded to provide advocacy for people with disabilities by the Citizens Information Board, and it is funded to provide patient complaint advocacy by the Department of Health.
Our Mission Statement
The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) provides an independent, confidential, and free, issues-based representative advocacy service that works exclusively for the person with a disability using the service and adheres to the highest professional standards.
In addition, the organisation provides an independent, confidential and free Patient Advocacy Service that works to support and empower all patients in Public Acute Hospitals and Nursing homes through the (i) relevant Complaints Process and (ii) in the aftermath of Patient Safety Incidents. While the primary culture of Patient Advocacy is empowerment advocacy, where this is not possible, representative advocacy may be provided where additional advocacy support is required to allow for the persons needs to be met.
Our Vision Statement
Our vision is to work towards a society that ensures the full participation of persons with disabilities. We recognise the capacity of persons with disabilities to make their own decisions equally with others, in accordance with United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
We recognise the right of all people to support, guidance and information when issues arise in relation to their care and treatment in Public Acute Hospitals and Nursing Homes which may lead to their wish to complain about their treatment or care or seek answers in the aftermath of a Patient Safety Incident.
If you need assistance making a complaint about an experience you had in a Public Acute Hospital or Nursing Home, check out our:
Meet the management team who work for the Patient Advocacy Service
Georgina is the National Manager of the Patient Advocacy Service. She previously worked as Acting Service Manager and Advocacy Team Lead, having joined the Service in November 2019.
A graduate with an Advanced Diploma in Advocacy Practice Provision, a level 7 Certificate in Patient Safety Complaints Advocacy and an advanced diploma in Human Resources, Georgina has over 17 years’ experience of working in the area of citizens’ rights and entitlements with a particular interest in Advocacy and Social Policy.
Georgina has frontline experience of direct advocacy provision having previously worked with the Citizens Information Service for 12 years as an advocate and development manager.
Corporate Services Manager
Deirdre Burke is a Corporate Services professional with over 20 years’ experience. She joined the Patient Advocacy Service in July 2020 as Corporate Services Officer. In March 2023 Deirdre was promoted to Corporate Services Manager.
Deirdre previously worked with the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting quality improvement in health care, where she managed membership services, as well as responsibilities for governance, compliance, finance, and office management.
Deirdre has a bachelor’s degree and has continued with professional development by completing the QQ1 Level 6 in Effective People Management, Open Training College Certificate in Patient Safety and Complaints Advocacy and most recently Deirdre completed PRINCE2® (Projects IN a Controlled Environment) 6th Edition Foundation.
Kathy is a HR professional with over 20 years’ experience in many areas of Human Resources. She has in depth knowledge of strategic HR support, workforce planning, recruitment, employee relations, project management, performance management, health and well-being, and learning and development initiatives.
She joined the Patient Advocacy Service in June 2021 as HR Executive, providing support in relation to human resource matters and responsible for the HR function within the service.
Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management and in 2019 obtained a Post Grad in Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness from NUIG. As part of her professional development, she has obtained the QQI Level 6 Train the Trainer certificate. She is a member of the CIPD and has worked in both the private, public and not for profit sectors.
Policy and Communications Officer
Andrew is a communications specialist, with over 15 years’ experience in communications, public affairs, marketing and policy development in Ireland, the UK and Brussels.
He joined the Patient Advocacy Service in June 2020 as Policy and Communications Officer, managing the organisation’s public relations, communications and stakeholder engagement actions and provides support in relation to policy activities.
Andrew gained a master’s in journalism from Ulster University in 2004 and worked as a journalist for several years in local and national media in Northern Ireland, before moving into PR and communications in 2009. Since then, he has worked in sectors including health and community, European public affairs, higher education and not for profit.
Advocacy Team Lead
Padraig is an Advocacy Team Lead with a national remit. He joined the Patient Advocacy Service in June 2021.
A graduate a BA in Social care, master’s in health care Practice, Post Grad in Leadership Development and certificate in Patient Safety Complaints Advocacy.
Prior to joining the Patient Advocacy Service, he worked in the area of advocacy for over six years, most recently as an Advocate with the National Advocacy Service (NAS).
Advocacy Team Lead
Caitriona joined the Patient Advocacy Service in January 2023 as an Advocacy Team Lead.
Prior to joining the Patient Advocacy Service, Caitriona worked as a Claims Team Lead for a large international insurance company where she led a team of claims officers and handled claims-related complaints.
She is qualified as a Chartered Insurance Practitioner.
She is currently completing the certificate in Patient Safety Complaints Advocacy with the Open Training College.
Advocacy Team Lead
Mary joined the Patient Advocacy Service in January 2023 as an Advocacy Team Lead.
Before joining the Patient Advocacy Service, Mary worked in Eir for 8 years. Her experience includes quality management & training where she monitors calls from a quality perspective and developed training for any knowledge gaps identified.
As a Team Leader she managed a team, ensuring KPI’s were achieved as well as developing the team. She was heavily involved in the setting up of 2 greenfield sites 1 in Limerick and the other in Waterford.
Mary has a City & Guilds/ILM level 4 certificate in Leadership and Management
The Patient Advocacy Service is provided by the National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS). NAS operates with four Regions across Ireland, led by 4 Regional Managers, and the overall management of a National Manager. View the NAS management team HERE.