International studies show that bringing the perspectives of patients, service users and families directly into the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care, and working in partnership with patients and families improves the quality and safety of health care and patient and staff experience. To ensure that patients have an input into the design, planning and delivery of services, the HSE facilitate the engagement of national divisions and programmes with patients, family members and carers. Conducting focus groups is one of the forms of such engagement. Focus groups centre around a key issue and participants are usually asked to provide feedback on a number of specific questions.
The HSE are in the process of creating a national panel of patient representatives. They are looking for patients, family members or carers who may be interested in participating in such focus groups and having an input into health service planning and design. For more information please contact Nicola Williams at email@example.com.