Patient forum provides effective link between community and hospital staff

A patient forum set up last year at Galway University Hospitals [UHG and Merlin Park] is providing an effective and efficient link between the community and hospital staff, according to the clinical director of the Galway/Roscommon Hospital Group, Dr David O’Keeffe.

The forum was established in July 2010 to enable patients, staff and the public to have a say in the quality of services being provided at the two local hospitals.

The 13 member forum comprises six members of the public and seven hospital staff and is representative of hospital service users, their carers and members of staff at Galway University Hospitals.

“The group met regularly over the last year and provided input and feedback to hospital management,” explains a spokesperson for the HSE West. “Members of the forum joined a number of the hospitals’ operational committees including hygiene, outpatients, care of the dying and obstetrics and gynaecology. These committees are a very important part of the establishment and development of hospital policy and practice.”

Dr David O Keeffe says service user input is vital to the planning and delivery of health services.

“The Galway University Hospital Patient Forum is providing an effective and efficient link between our community and our hospital staff. We are committed in GUH to further develop the strong service culture throughout the two hospital campuses and to improve the quality of services by making them responsive to the needs and preferences of patients.

“Over the last year, the GUH Patient Forum has contributed to the efforts under way in the hospital to continually strive to improve quality of care and service we deliver to our patients.”

Mary Lane Heneghan, a member of the patient forum, states to date, it has allowed members to exchange information and offer opinions on the type and quality of services being delivered at Galway University Hospitals.

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