Patient Councils are to be formed by the new West and North West Hospital Group which will advise on service development and issues relating specifically to patient care. The aim of the council will be to improve the quality of services provided at the seven hospitals in the newly formed group.
The announcement was made at the board meeting of the Galway and Roscommon Hospital Group which is to be renamed the West and North West Hospital Group from July 1, when Sligo Regional Hospital, Letterkenny General Hospital, and Mayo General Hospital are incorporated into the already existing group.
Colette Cowan, group director of nursing and midwifery, told the meeting at UHG on Tuesday that advertisements will be placed in the local media for the Patient Councils which will have up to five people on each council.
According to Ms Cowan it is important that each local area is represented. She said one patient would attend the next board meeting of the hospital group to give an account of what it is like being a patient, and the nursing director said it was her belief that this would become a regular feature of board meetings.
“The key to patient services is that there is learning,” continued Ms Cowan, who added that these were voluntary positions.
Participants on the council will be selected following an interview process and they will be supported by, and will work, with Ms Cowan in the future development of nursing and midwifery care.
The group CEO Mr Bill Maher highlighted the importance of the Patient Councils adding: “This is a real opportunity to shape services. There is no better way of learning than asking the people we deliver those services to.”
He promised that the council would not be a talking shop and would have a real contribution to make. He appealed to anyone interested in becoming part of the Patient Council to look out for the advertisements.