IFIC Ireland Patient Empowerment Mini-Series with CEmPaC

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The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Empowerment for Health as ‘a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health. Empowerment may be a social, cultural, psychological or political process through which individuals and social groups are able to express their needs, present their concerns, devise strategies for involvement in decision-making, and achieve political, social and cultural action to meet those needs.’

This series, aimed at health and social care workers and service leads, presented by IFIC Ireland in partnership with the Centre for Empowerment of People and Communities (CEmPaC) will examine the area of Patient Empowerment and the role it plays in achieving true integrated care. The first session will serve as an introduction to the area with Jim Phillips of CEmPaC speaking about the work of the organisation to promote and develop the empowerment of patients and health professionals and inform policy makers on the benefits of patients and health professionals working in partnership to improve health and healthcare. Dr Austin O’Carroll, SafetyNet Primary Care and North Dublin City GP Training, will describe his experience of improving homeless peoples participation and how his work as an ethnographic researcher has informed and changed his practice through deeper understanding of his patients’ issues and perspectives.

Supported by:

Wednesday, March 03, 03:30 PM GMT

Jim Phillips, the Centre for Empowering Patients and Communities, and Dr Austin O’Carroll, SafetyNet Primary Care and North Dublin City GP Training, will introduce the area of Patient Empowerment and engaging service users in design, delivery and evolution of health and social care services.


Jacqui Browne
Steering Group Member, Chairperson @IFIC Ireland, Disabled Persons Organisations Coalition

Jacqui Browne is a member of the Disability Advisory Committee of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. IHREC is the Independent Monitoring Mechanism for the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in Ireland. Jacqui is a Thalidomide survivor, not a victim and has over 30 years of experience as a disability equality activist and consultant. With a BA Degree in Economics & Politics from UCD and a Masters’ degree in Education from Trinity College Dublin she has many years of experience working at local, national, European and International levels. She is a former member of Commission on Status of People with Disabilities whose report A Strategy for Equality was a blueprint for disability rights in Ireland.

Jacqui is Chairperson of DESSA – the national Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency, a board member of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Irish Thalidomide Association. Jacqui is also actively involved as a patient advocate in IPPOSI – the Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry and is a EUPATI Fellow – European Patient Advocacy Training Initiative.


Dr Sloan Harper

 After qualifying in Medicine from Queen’s University Belfast, 1983 Sloan worked as a GP in Belfast for 14 years followed by posts in primary care management at medical adviser and director level with the Northern Health & Social Services Board; and Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. He was appointed Director of Integrated Care at the Regional Health and Social Care Board in 2010 with responsibility for the delivery of GP, Community Pharmacy, Dental and Ophthalmic services across N Ireland as well as initiatives to improve the level of integration between the health and social care workforce and local communities. Sloan is Chair of IFIC Ireland and his focus is an all island approach to improving wellbeing by addressing integration and the social determinants of health. He is a non-executive director of Radius Housing, one of the largest housing associations on the island of Ireland. 


Jim Phillips
Director @Centre for Empowering People and Communities (CEmPaC)

Jim is the director for the centre for empowering people and communities (CEmPaC) and also works for NHS England and Improvement in personalised care.

He has a background in psychotherapy and mindfulness and provides expert advice on design and implementation of self-management programmes to improve health and wellbeing, as well as training clinical teams in health coaching. He has also been involved in patient safety campaigns and campaigns for improved care. He is a regular speaker at national and international conferences and has provided advice to UK and European governments and agencies on health empowerment.

Dr. Austin O’Carroll
GP, Founder @SafetyNet Primary Care, GMQ, Partnership for Health Equity, GPCareForAll, North Dublin City GP Training Programme
Dr. Austin O Carroll MICGP Dhealth Hon founded several initiatives:

· Safetynet (2007) which provides GP services to over 6000 marginalized patients annually throughout Ireland. He was Medical Director from 2007-2017.

· GMQ, a primary care programme for homeless people.

· Partnership for Health Equity, a research, education, policy and service delivery collaboration.

· GPCareForAll, a new social enterprise that creates new GP practices in areas of deprivation.

· North Dublin City GP Training programme, the first internationally that trains GPs to work in communities affected by deprivation or marginalization.

He completed a Doctorate in ethnographic research into the health service usage behaviours of homeless people. He was appointed Clinical Lead for the Covid Homeless Response in 2020. He received the Fiona Bradley Award; Time & Tide Award for his work with migrants; Irish Healthcare professional of the Year Award 2015; Doolin Award; Gertrude Ronan Award 2018 and Wonca Europe GP of the Year 2020.