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Two New Patient Advice and Liaison Service Coordinator for Galway University Hospitals

Galway University Hospitals (GUH) is delighted to announce the appointment of Niamh O’Brien and Una Madden to the role of Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Coordinators. 

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service Coordinator acts as the main contact between patients, their families, carers and the hospital. They ensure that the patient voice is heard either through the patient directly or through a nominated representative. They help to resolve issues for patients and their families and work towards improving the patient experience at any available opportunity.

Niamh a native from Galway previously worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist on the infection prevention and control team in Galway University Hospitals. Prior to this, she gained valuable experience working with patients and their families having worked as a nurse and Clinical Nurse Manager in Portiuncula University Hospital for 15 years. “We identify and work on initiatives by listening to what the patients tell us, all the while working in a friendly, confidential and impartial manner. I am the dedicated PALS Coordinator to the emergency department and I work closely with the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff on patient care issues and speak on behalf of those patients and their families who wish me to do so. We endeavour to facilitate the provision of clear information which is easily accessible to our patients, visitors and staff,” explains Niamh.

Una also a native from Galway trained as a midwife in UHG before heading to London where she worked as a Community Midwife. She moved back to Galway in 2021 and worked in the maternity department in UHG until taking up her new role in PALS. Speaking about her new role, Una said, “We ensure the patient’s voice is heard by advocating for them and by empowering them to become involved in their own care. If a patient wants to provide feedback or make a comment about the hospital and the care they received, we will assist them in doing so, or refer them to the appropriate person who will be able to assist them further.

“It is important that our patients are treated with compassion, consideration and respect and that the ethos and the values of the Galway University Hospitals are evident through the work carried out by all of our staff. As PALS coordinators, we also empower patients to ask questions and become involved in their own healthcare. It is vital that patients are listened to and communicated to in a language they understand.”

Marie Burns, Director of Nursing said, “Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS) Coordinators strengthen our commitment to put the patient at the heart of everything we do; listening, responding and innovating based on patient feedback and collaboration. These two staff members are only in post for a short time and we already see the positive impact they are having on our patients, families and staff.”

Chris Kane, Hospital Manager added, “We are delighted to have Niamh and Una here in Galway University Hospitals as our Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS) Coordinators. Niamh and Una play an important role in providing support and advise to our patients, their families and carers and work proactively to resolve any issues that arise during a patient’s stay in hospital. PALS Coordinators have a very important function as they help to embed the voice of the patient in the workings of the hospital. Patients are at the centre of everything we do and through the PALS service we can learn more about the patient experience and put plans in place to make necessary improvements.”

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
University Hospital Galway (UHG)