Does Ireland Need the Constitutional Right to Health?

Why should health professionals have to shout from the rooftops that their patients may be harmed or die because they are under resourced/funded? Why should patients or carers (often sick themselves) have to set up their own advocacy groups out of serious concerns for themselves or their loved ones? Why should ordinary people have to … Continue reading Does Ireland Need the Constitutional Right to Health?

Advocacy for Advocates – Silence is Not Always Golden.

*Warning this is a long blog post - I'm not apologising for it's length, I'm just giving you the heads up.* Even writing this blog I feel myself shaking. Fear reaches peak as I wonder if my story will lead to even more negative repercussions for me. Anxiety flows through me as I recall events that … Continue reading Advocacy for Advocates – Silence is Not Always Golden.

Doing it with us, not for us…

“Taking account of the perspectives of patients and their families is crucial to articulating the reality and identifying the gaps between patient safety measures possible and the levels of safety being experienced by patients.” Building a Culture of Patient Safety, July 2008 Staff Guide to Patient and Public Participation, Cork University Hospital In the last … Continue reading Doing it with us, not for us…

A Day in the Life of a Patient Attending an Outpatient Clinic: The Problems and Solutions

I arrive at a hospital I haven't been to before. I have been told in my appointment letter to go  directly to the outpatients desk to let them know I'm here. I look around - there are three reception areas - but which one is  for outpatients? I logically choose the one nearest the front entrance, wait in a queue … Continue reading A Day in the Life of a Patient Attending an Outpatient Clinic: The Problems and Solutions

Are “Self Management” courses worth the paper they’re written on?

A 46 year old man stands at the kitchen counter in his house staring blankly at the two bags of medicines he has just collected from his pharmacy. Maurice - his heart full of regret; his head racing with anxiety. Feeling unhappy, scared about his future - and feeling, oh, so alone. Suddenly he is stirred from his … Continue reading Are “Self Management” courses worth the paper they’re written on?

When patients have no choice but to be innovative…

Patients and carers across the world are constantly coming up with new ideas in relation to the management of medications, achieving daily tasks with limited mobility, tracking symptoms and even finding ways to remember medical information. I myself even came up with the MediStori - a personal health organiser - while caring for my dad who was … Continue reading When patients have no choice but to be innovative…

Speaking at the National Patient Forum 2015

At 7.30am last Tuesday, I found myself talking aloud in my car, en route to Dublin, practicing for a presentation that I would be delivering at the National Patient and Service User Forum that same morning. Looking back,  I was really getting into it and I quite animatedly corrected myself when I went off track … Continue reading Speaking at the National Patient Forum 2015

Overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

This is how I told my story at Heart Children Ireland’s National AGM… “Hi my name is Olive, and I am a mum of three girls; Micaela Nicole and Mackensie.  I was going to tell my story spontaneously , but every time I practised doing it this way, my emotions took over and I forgot … Continue reading Overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

Codeine and Cigarettes. Why it’s easier to smoke than get pain relief…

A few weeks back, myself and the hubby decided we'd take a much needed break from all the running around in work and so on the Friday, we jumped in the car with the kids, not minding the oncoming four hour road trip because we knew we'd be able to relax at the other end … Continue reading Codeine and Cigarettes. Why it’s easier to smoke than get pain relief…

World Health Innovation Summit: The Platform for Patients and Professionals, with the Purpose to Partner.

With hundreds of health events being launched every single day across the world, I often hear people say, “Oh, conferences – they’re just a money making racket” or “Health professionals feel they have to go to them, to earn learning credits”, or “They’re just excuses to get out of work and go out on the town afterwards”. Often … Continue reading World Health Innovation Summit: The Platform for Patients and Professionals, with the Purpose to Partner.

The Patient’s Perspective on eHealth Ireland’s Ecosystem.

Last month, I was both delighted, and honoured, to be invited to keynote the 4th National eHealth Ireland Ecosystem meeting, as chaired by the first CIO of the HSE,Mr Richard Corbridge. When I was told that this particular get together was focusing on an initiative called the "Lighthouse Project" my first thought was – "I can't wait to see their projects!" and … Continue reading The Patient’s Perspective on eHealth Ireland’s Ecosystem.

Reassurance – Often written, rarely verbalised.

As I came in from another long day at work, my three girls (and three dogs, I might add!) all came running at me - just before I got a chance to glance at the post that had arrived that day. After seeing their happy faces and hugging them tightly, I felt so reassured that they … Continue reading Reassurance – Often written, rarely verbalised.

Presenting and attending at the National Medicines Forum 2015

Last Thursday, on the 30th April 2015, the 3rd National Medicines Forum was held in No.6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2 – also known as the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.  Upon walking in the doors of this truly remarkable building, you honestly feel like you’ve stepped back in time – you can feel the depth of history and can … Continue reading Presenting and attending at the National Medicines Forum 2015