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Publications & Research

Sage Advocacy seeks to address individual and systemic issues through engagement with policy makers, public representatives, budget holders, decision-makers and all forms of media. Sage is committed to promoting, undertaking and disseminating research, developing discussion documents and sharing its experiences to address systemic issues for the benefit of its client groups. 

You can access Sage Advocacy's range of discussion documents, guidance documents,  research and submissions in the sections below. 


Access to Justice by At-Risk Adults

Access to Justice by At-Risk Adults identifies a wide range of issues relating at-risk adults achieving justice in Ireland within the civil and criminal law systems; and the barriers that can arise for both victims and perpetrators of crime who experience risk factors such as dependency, disability and health status.

It provides a measure of the extent to which the State is meeting its responsibility to promote and protect equal access to justice as a fundamental human right – looking at discriminatory culture and attitudes; shortcomings in the Civil Legal Aid Scheme; lack of representation of people with disabilities in legal professions; inaccessible legal information and physical settings; gaps in legislative protections for people in long-term care (e.g., in situations of deprivation of liberty); and over-representation of at-risk adults in the prison system.

The report identifies the concept of legal capacity (the capacity to have rights and the power to exercise those rights) as being at the very core of access to justice – and asserts, conversely, that any failure to recognise the agency and legal capacity of adults with reduced decision-making capacity is fundamentally a denial of their access to justice.

Developing an Observatory on Long-Term Care in Ireland - A Human Rights Perspective

This project examines how an Observatory on Long-term Care might provide vital evidence and perspective to inform the Government’s planned Commission on Care for older people and, thereafter, ongoing policy development and implementation. It would also have a role in informing media and public debate regarding systemic issues that have a real impact on the lives of older people and their families and friends. It proposes a structure that would allow such a body to best monitor the human rights situation for people availing of long-term care and support services in Ireland; one that includes and amplifies the voices of long-term care recipients themselves.

Managing Finances: Supporting adults who may be vulnerable - A Discussion Document

This updated discussion document was originally compiled by Sage Advocacy in consultation with the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies (NFVB), the HSE Patient Private Property Accounts Section, HIQA, representatives of the private nursing home sector and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.




Choice Matters: Towards a Continuum of Support and Care for Older People

Choice Matters, published by Sage Advocacy, examines how the “dangerous architecture” on which the current system of care in congregated settings for older people is built, presented major difficulties in responding to the challenges of Covid-19.

Choice Matters also highlights key long term care issues in Ireland and provides a policy action framework for an alternative model of long-term support and care which could be progressed through the Government’s proposed Commission on Care.

Supporting Vulnerable Adults to Manage Their Finances

Most adults take for granted the right to have full access to their own money and the right to spend it as they choose, even when that spending may, in the opinion of others, not always be particularly “wise”.

There are however adults living in a variety of settings, including the homes of relatives in the community, who, due to intellectual or other disability or brain injury need support in accessing their money in order to spend it as they see fit. The degree of that support varies from person to person and, like other abilities, can vary over time.

Sage Advocacy, having consulted widely with stakeholders in the statutory and voluntary sectors involved in money management for these groups of adults who are vulnerable, have now brought together in one document the Regulatory Framework and Legislative Provisions that apply to the management of the personal finances of people in residential care services.

The document sets out the relevant provisions of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, which will apply once that legislation is fully ‘commenced’, before setting out the various needs of ALL individuals in respect of their own money; identified as  empowerment,  accessibility,  accountability, and safeguarding as well as the more obvious personal, social and comfort needs.

Sage Advocacy Submission to the Law Reform Commission Issues Paper: A Regulatory Framework for Safeguarding Adults

Earlier this year the Law Reform Commission called for submissions on its Issues Paper, A Regulatory Framework for Adult Safeguarding.  Sage Advocacy welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation.  This Paper is an important step in developing an adequate safeguarding system in Ireland for adults who may be vulnerable.

Sage Advocacy is a support and advocacy service with a particular focus on vulnerable adults and older people who have difficulty in asserting their legal and human rights. The mission of Sage Advocacy is to promote, protect and defend the rights and dignity of vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients. Its work with people is based on the principle of ‘nothing about you/without you’.

A central focus of Sage Advocacy is safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable to abuse in any form – physical, financial, sexual or psychological.

May 2020

Sage Advocacy Submission to Data Protection Commission on Regulatory Strategy 2020-2025

The Data Protection Commission is currently preparing their new Regulatory Strategy, to cover the period from 2020 to 2025. The DPC want the new strategy to ensure that they regulate with clear purpose – clear to the people whose rights they safeguard, clear to the organisations that they regulate, and clear to themselves and their fellow regulators.

Delivering Quality Medical Care in Irish Nursing Homes: Current Practice, Issues & Challenges

The Delivering Quality Care in Irish Nursing Homes Discussion Document is aimed at encouraging debate about medical care in nursing homes in Ireland by identifying current practice and highlighting issues as identified by key stakeholders. It describes existing policy, legislative and regulatory provisions and current practice by GPs and locates these, as far as possible, with reflective practices in other comparable jurisdictions. It also describes blockages and challenges identified by key stakeholders and sets out possible options for addressing these. Areas where further research and development would be helpful are also identified.

It is not intended that the Discussion Document would be a definitive statement on the matter but rather a broad narrative on: 

a. Current GP practice in providing the medical care required by nursing home residents

b. The current and evolving challenges in doing so in a manner that is effective in meeting patients’ needs, and

c. Delivering care of the highest quality possible, and sustainable in the longerterm It is envisaged that the Document could be used as a basis for ongoing dialogue and policy
discourse in order to ensure that nursing home residents get the best possible medical care and on an equal basis with those living in the community.


Guidance Document1.PNG

Latest Supreme Court Guidance on the Protection of Liberty of a vulnerable adult in the context of discharge from hospital

Summary Document: Financing Long-Term Care in an Ageing Society

This document is a summary of a Discussion Document being developed by Sage Advocacy on Financing Long-Term Care in Ireland.

Draft Guidance Document on the Contract of Service Provision

In order to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights, freedoms and dignity for those bound by the Contracts of Care, Sage undertook the development of this Guidance Document on the Contract of Service Provision for Adults who may be Vulnerable. This document is designed for use by residential service providers, residents themselves, supported living services, health and social care staff, along with family members of a person in receipt of service by a disability or older persons service and legal professionals. 


Submission to the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care

In January 2018 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care, which was established in 2017 to achieve cross-party consensus on a long-term vision for mental health care and the direction of mental health policy in Ireland. The Joint Committee published its final report in October 2018. You can read our submission by clicking on the image. 

Submission to the CCPC on Contracts of Care

In February 2018 Sage Advocacy made a submission as part of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and  public consultation on contracts of care in long-term residential care services for older people. The CCPC will produce a set of guidelines to inform service providers who are providing standard care contracts of their obligations under consumer protection law. You can read our submission by clicking on the image. 

Submission to Department of Health on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

In March 2018 Sage Advocacy made a submission as part of the Department of Health public consultation on draft legislation to provide deprivation of liberty safeguards. It is intended that safeguards to ensure a person is not unlawfully deprived of liberty will form Part 13 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.

Submission to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

In April 2018 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation on the Consultation on Proposed Guiding Principles to frame the State’s Economic Migration Policy. We made a brief submission in relation to the principles of most relevance to the care sector. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.

Submission to the Taskforce on Loneliness

In April 2018 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the Taskforce on Loneliness which was established by Senator Dr. Keith Swanick in collaboration with Seán Moynihan of ALONE to coordinate a response to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. The report from the Loneliness Taskforce was published in June 2018. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.

Submission to the Department of Justice on implementation of OPCAT

In April 2018 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the Department of Justice on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPACT). OPCAT is an international human rights instrument which aims to prevent ill treatment in any place where a person may be deprived of their liberty, Ireland has yet to ratify this Convention. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.

Submission to the Expert Group on management of clinical negligence claims

In June 2018 the Government established an Expert Group to review current systems for the management of clinical negligence
claims. In response to an invitation Sage Advocacy made a submission to the Expert Group based on the experiences of patient advocacy. You can read our submission by clicking on the image. 

Submission to UN Committee Against Torture

In November 2018 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the United Nations as part of the follow up procedure to Ireland's 2017 review of the State's implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Following the review process in 2017 the UN Committee made several recommendations, one of which related to the independent monitoring of places of deprivation of liberty and recommended that Ireland ratifies the Optional Protocol to the Convention (OPCAT) and establish an independent National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) which complies with the requirements of OPCAT. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.


Submission to the Citizens Assembly

In May 2017 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the Citizens Assembly on the topic of Responding to the Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Population.  The Submission provides a general overview of how the considerable challenges and opportunities of an ageing population in Ireland should be identified and addressed. It draws heavily on the work of the Forum on Long-Term Care for Older People. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.

Submission UNCAT: Human Rights: Vulnerable Adults & Older People in Ireland

In June 2017 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) as part of the review of Ireland’s implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment on 27th and 28th July 2017. The submission referred to issues of concern which amount to inhuman and degrading treatment for consideration by the Committee. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.

Submission to Joint Committee on Health on Adult Safeguarding

In October 2017 Sage Advocacy made a submission to the Joint Committee on Health on the topic of Adult Safeguarding, the submission and presentation to the Committee focused on the role of independent advocacy, the right to access advocacy and the need for a National Council for Support and Advocacy.The Joint Committee published their report in December 2017. You can read our submission by clicking on the image.

Contracts of Care for Nursing Home Residents - Issues for Policy and Practice

In October 2017 Sage launched a report examining Contracts of Care for nursing home residents which found that residents in private nursing homes are treated less favourably than those in public nursing homes in respect of notice of termination of contract, and that contracts may be unlawfully signed by a resident’s family member. The report recommended an overhaul of both the content of contracts of care and of the manner in which residents are expected to deal with the contracts.You can read the report by clicking on the image.


The Nursing Home Support Scheme: Charges and Related Issues

In December 2016 Sage Advocacy published a discussion document which was developed following a public consultation on nursing home fees and charges. The consultation showed there is an urgent need for more debate around nursing home fees and charges as these apply to people who avail of the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS). You can read the report by clicking on the image.

Responding to the Support & Care Needs of our older population

In 2016 Sage in partnership with Third Age, Family Carers Ireland and Alone established a Forum on Long-Term Care, and launched the report ‘Responding to the Support and Care Needs of Our Older Population’ at an event in June 2016. The report found there is a broad consensus on the direction that our approach to supporting older people who need care should take. This includes enabling people to stay at home and in their own communities for as long as possible, to cater for people at the lowest appropriate level of complexity and the need to provide high quality residential care when and if this is needed.

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