Promotion of Patient Opinion Ireland within Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services
On Wednesday 30th November a promotion event of Patient Opinion Ireland was held by the HSE Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services (SLMHS). The event took place at the Clarion Hotel Sligo and was attended by a number of representatives from patient groups and voluntary groups associated with the mental health services. Management and staff from the SLMHS were also in attendance.
SLMHS have examined a number of ways to encourage service user participation and feedback and in November 2015, the service subscribed to Patient Opinion Ireland (POI). POI is an independent feedback website www.patientopinion.ie enabling service users/family members/carers to share their experiences of healthcare services. When a service user shares their story on the POI website it provides the service with an opportunity to identify areas where services worked well and thank staff but it also means that the service user can help to identify areas where there is room for improvement and help to improve the service overall for the user.
Speaking at the event Tomas Murphy Area Director of Nursing for Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services stated “Patient Opinion allows the person to share their experience of the service anonymously and in confidence. When a story is received by POI an alert is sent to the most appropriate person in the service to respond to the story. They are responsible for posting a reply. There is a responder for each mental health team/day hospital/service within SLMHS. All stories and responses are moderated by POI to protect patient and staff confidentiality before being posted on the POI website. “
At the event a Peer Support Worker addressed those present and expressed her support for Patient Opinion Ireland stating “There are many scenarios where patient opinion can help you with your recovery or improve the service as a whole. I think the most appealing part of the process is the interaction, not only being listened to, but being answered, and your feedback being acted on. Who is in a better position to improve a service than those who use it.”
Joanne O’ Halloran a Clinical Psychologist with SLMHS added “Patient Opinion provides us with the opportunity to identify areas where the service is working well and to thank staff, and more importantly, it can help make the service better by making changes and improvements based upon feedback received. For example, one improvement we have made as a result of feedback received on Patient Opinion was to improve the layout of a waiting area in one of our clinics”.