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In 2020, the National Public Health Emergency Team in Ireland recommended the establishment of an Expert Panel on Nursing Homes to examine the complex issues surrounding the management of COVID-19 among this vulnerable cohort and to identify lessons learned from Ireland’s response to the pandemic. Following consultation with stakeholders and engagement with nursing home residents, the lack of advocacy services was identified as a significant issue. The report recommended that HIQA highlight and promote independent advocacy services available to residents.

Following consultation with people using services, health and social care inspectors, and service providers, HIQA identified knowledge and understanding of advocacy among health and social care staff as a significant barrier to advocacy across all health and social care settings. Based on these findings, we designed a suite of resources on The Fundamentals of Advocacy in Health and Social Care to help health and social care staff understand their role in relation to advocacy. This includes listening to people, respecting their autonomy and confidentiality, and supporting them to have their will and preferences met.