(01) 536 7330 info@sageadvocacy.ie

About Us

The right to have your voice heard and to participate in making decisions which affect you is a fundamental principle in a democratic society. It is a principle simply stated as "Nothing about you /without you".

Many people face challenges to their independence due to physical or mental illness, intellectual, physical or sensory disability, lack of family and community supports or an inability to access public services that meet their needs. Some people communicate differently and with difficulty and some people slowly lose their ability to make and communicate decisions as a condition, such as dementia, develops over time. Some are abused and exploited because of their vulnerability.  Others feel disregarded or let down by healthcare services while some are harmed through adverse events or medical negligence.

In circumstances where people may be vulnerable, or have to depend on others, there is a need to ensure that their rights, freedoms and dignity are promoted and protected. Through support and advocacy the will and preference of a person can be heard and acted on; independently of family, service provider or systems interests.

The development of Sage Advocacy has been influenced by the scandals of Leas Cross in 2005, and Áras Attracta and Portlaoise Hospital in 2014.  First established in June 2014 as a support and advocacy service for older people by the HSE, The Atlantic Philanthropies and Third Age, it was in 2016 asked to explore how it might address some of the more systemic issues relating to people with intellectual disabilities in the South-East. Sage Advocacy clg was established in September 2017 and on March 1st 2018 it assumed full responsibility for the governance and future development of the service.  On July 1st 2018 the patient advocacy services, previously provided by Patient Focus, moved to Sage Advocacy which is now a support and advocacy service for vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients.

 

"To promote, protect and defend the rights and dignity of vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients."

Our Mission Statement

More About Sage Advocacy

Governance & Accountability

Sage was established as a support and advocacy service for older people in June 2014 by the HSE and The Atlantic Philanthropies with the support of Third Age.  Funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies ended in November 2017 and on March 1st 2018  Sage Advocacy clg assumed responsibility for the future development of the service which is now available to vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients.

Sage Advocacy clg is governed by a constitution and a Board which is chaired by the Honourable Mary Laffoy. Ms Laffoy was appointed a Judge of the High Court in April 1995 and appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2013, Ms Laffoy retired in June 2017.

A series of Board Committees oversees the work of the service.

CRO #610824 | RCN #20162221 | CHY #22308

Auditors: Mazars, www.mazars.ie

Solicitors: O'Connell Brennan, www.oconnellbrennan.ie

Data Protection Advisors: Sytorus, www.sytorus.com

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Comments & Complaints

For Sage Advocacy to do the job that is expected of us we need to be independent of family, provider and systems interests. While our approach is to collaborate, where possible, we do also need to challenge, where necessary. We may also, from time to time, get our approach wrong simply because we are often last rather than first responders and situations are often quite complex by the time we are asked to become involved.

We value feedback on our work and approach.  Feedback, of all forms, is important to us.  If you would like to bring something to our attention, send us a comment or make a complaint please email us at info@sageadvocacy.ie  or complaints@sageadvocacy.ie.  Where a complaint cannot appropriately be handled internally, or you are not satisfied with the outcome, an Independent Complaints Review Panel can be asked to review it.

The guidelines below are intended to explain the process of making a complaint relating to services provided by Sage Advocacy and its representatives.  All complaints are treated confidentially – this means that Sage Advocacy will only involve people who are directly involved in the complaint. 

MAKING A COMPLAINT IN SIMPLE STEPS

  1. As a first step, you should raise your issue with the Service Manager/Executive Director of Sage Advocacy by filling in a Complaint Form.
  1. The Service Manager/Executive Director will attempt to resolve the issue and/or may decide to refer it to the Independent Complaints Review Panel.
  1. If you are unhappy with the Service Manager/Executive Director’s decision you can request that your complaint is referred to the Independent Complaints Review Panel.
  1. You will need to fill in another short form (Request for a Review of a Complaint Form).
  1. The Independent Complaints Review Panel decides if it can review the complaint.
  1. If a review is necessary, further information may be sought from you.
  1. The Independent Complaints Review Panel makes its decision.
  1. You may be able to have the decision reviewed by the Ombudsman.

Guidelines for making a complaint

  • Introduction

    The guidelines below are intended to explain the process of making a complaint relating to services provided by Sage Advocacy and its representatives.  All complaints are treated confidentially – this means that Sage Advocacy will only involve people who are directly involved in the complaint. 

    Our objective is to promote, protect and defend the rights and dignity of vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients.  We take your complaints seriously and try to learn from any mistakes we have made, bearing in mind that our focus at all times will be on the client.  Where there is a need for change, we will conduct an internal review setting out our shortcomings and learning to inform practice for the organisation.  We will let you know when changes we have promised have been made.

    We believe that all complainants have the right to be heard, understood and respected. However, we also consider that our staff have the same rights. We, therefore, expect you to be polite and courteous in your dealings with us. (We have a separate guidance document to manage situations where we find that someone’s actions are unacceptable).

    Sage Advocacy will seek to resolve all complaints as early as possible, at the first point of contact.  If you are not satisfied with the outcome of this, you can progress your complaint to the investigation stage.

    • If your complaint relates to an Information or Subject Access Request made to Sage Advocacy under the General Data Protection Regulations 2016 and you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can appeal directly to the Data Protection Commission. Sage Advocacy will not process a complaint related to a Subject Access Request.
    • If your complaint relates to a case where the HSE Safeguarding & Protection Team/Garda Síochána and/or legal proceedings are involved, the matter will be dealt with under our Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons Policy.
  • Who can make a complaint?

    Provided that the complaint relates to the work of Sage Advocacy, and not to another organisation, agency or service, and that the complaint is not frivolous or vexatious, a complaint can be made by:

    • A client who uses Sage Advocacy services;
    • Somebody acting on the client’s behalf provided that it is clear that the client has sought assistance from that person in making the complaint;
    • Somebody acting on the client’s behalf where there is clear evidence that the client does not have the capacity to make a complaint or to ask another person to assist; or
    • A bona fide third party, e.g. relative, social and health care provider or nominated representatives under the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, or a person considered by the Panel to be a bona fide third party who was not involved in assisting with the original complaint.
    • A bona fide third party, e.g. relative, social and health care provider or nominated representatives under the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. Where this is the case, Sage Advocacy will apply a rights safeguarding approach and follow the guidelines in our Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy.
  • What happens if I make a complaint?

    All formal complaints received will be recorded on receipt, acknowledged within 5 working days, and the Service Manager/Executive Director will be made aware of them.  Where appropriate, the Service Manager/Executive Director will first request the relevant Sage Advocacy Representative and/or Regional Coordinator to deal with complaints informally. If you are not satisfied with the outcome you may engage in a more formal process which will involve:

    • Clarification of all the details of the complaint by a senior member of staff nominated by the Executive Director.
    • A report of the investigation of the facts of the complaint and a proposed resolution will be forwarded to the Executive Director who will make a decision on the complaint. Sage Advocacy will endeavour to complete this process within 30 days.  However, the complexity of some cases may require more time.
  • What are the full factors that the Executive Director considers in a complaint?

    In examining a complaint, the Executive Director will be guided by the following criteria:

    • The complaint cannot be considered frivolous or vexatious;
    • The complaint cannot be anonymous;
    • The complaint must have been made directly by a client, on behalf of a client or by a bona fide third party;
    • The complaint must relate to the work of Sage Advocacy and not to another organisation, agency or service;
    • The complaint does/did not relate to HSE Safeguarding & Protection Team/Garda Síochána concerns which are dealt with under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons Policy of Sage Advocacy;
    • The complaint was/is not the subject of legal proceedings;
    • The complaint cannot be considered if it relates to an Information or Subject Access Request made to Sage Advocacy under the General Data Protection Regulations 2016, which may be appealed directly to the Data Protection Commission.
  • What happens if I am not satisfied?

    If you have availed of the internal complaints process within Sage Advocacy and are not satisfied, you may request a review of your complaint by the Independent Complaints Review Panel (ICRP) by email at complaints@sageadvocacy.ie or phone 01 536 7330.  A request for a review should be made within 30 days of the decision on the complaint.  In certain circumstances the Panel may agree to extend this time limit.  You will need to set out the grounds on which the review is being sought and explain why you believe that the decision on the complaint was wrong.

  • How will my request for a review be handled?

    The Panel will decide if a review is necessary.  If a review is not felt to be necessary, the Chair of the Panel will inform you in writing of the reasons for its decision.  The Panel’s decision is normally final and conclusive. However, it may, in certain circumstances, be reviewable by the Ombudsman.

2022 | Sage Advocacy. All Rights Reserved. | CRO #610824 | RCN #20162221 | CHY #22308.