The online workshop offered by Human Health Project on April 14, 2022, “Understanding the Healthcare System in Northern Ireland,” was an effective presentation involving HHP’s international presence and work in Northern Ireland. Through this workshop as a part of HHP’s patient advocacy program, three main sections were discussed, including “Your Rights as a Patient,” “How to Stand up for Yourself and be Heard,” and “Where to Get Help in Northern Ireland.”
With regard to “Your Rights as a Patient,” the Northern Ireland Health Service, which provides health and social services in Northern Ireland, has five standards for staff when treating patients. These standards include respect, attitude, behavior, communication, and privacy and dignity. With regard to the first standard, respect, staff will keep patients informed and involved in healthcare decisions. In regard to the second standard, attitude, staff will provide a welcoming environment when helping patients. For behavior, staff will always ask for consent when giving treatment, as well as listen to all concerns patients may have regarding treatment. For communication, staff will provide information that is relatable for patients and listen to patients’ needs. For the final standard, privacy and dignity, all patients’ information is kept confidential. These five standards are essential for the well-being of patients in Northern Ireland.
With regard to the second section, “How to Stand up for Yourself and be Heard,” the subject of being an ePatient on a general note was also discussed. An ePatient is any individual who is informed and invested in their healthcare decisions. There is a positive aspect of ePatient empowerment, in that patients who are adequately informed about their healthcare can effectively speak up for themselves and participate in their plan of care.
In addition, the final section “Where to Get Help in Northern Ireland,” also provided significant information. For example, Health and Social Care Trusts, as a part of the Northern Ireland Health Service, provide health and social care services throughout Northern Ireland. There are five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland. In addition, the Patient and Client Council also provides free help, advice and support for individuals in Northern Ireland who may have a complaint about their healthcare services. With regard to how healthcare services are regulated, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority is responsible for monitoring and inspecting the quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland.
Ultimately, this initial workshop, Understanding the Healthcare System in Northern Ireland, was effective. In providing specific information about the rights of patients in Northern Ireland, giving general healthcare information such as the role of an ePatient, as well as providing information regarding Northern Ireland healthcare services, this workshop was successful in meeting its core goals.
Here below are the remaining upcoming online workshops about “Understanding the Healthcare System in Northern Ireland” offered by Human Health Project on Zoom: