Patient Community Advisory Council (PCAC)

Established in 2013 the Patient Community Advisory Council (PCAC) was set up with the support of the Executive Management Team of Tallaght University Hospital. The PCAC is dedicated to the improvement of quality in patient care at Tallaght University Hospital and help support the Hospital’s values.

The group meets eight times a year provides an opportunity for the Hospital to hear directly from patients, users of our services on their experience during their patient journey with the Hospital. Provide feedback on current systems and processes in the Hospital and give their thoughts on new systems being introduced and generate new ideas to improve the standard of care.

The PCAC is composed of groups representing the Community along with staff of the Hospital.

Catherine Heaney
Catherine Heaney - Chair of the Patient Community Advisory Council 
Catherine is the coordinator of the Fettercairn Community Health Project and has worked as a Community Development Practitioner for over 20 years. She has a BA Degree in Leadership and Community Development in addition to being a qualified Complementary Therapist and Teacher. She has been using Community Development approaches to health for 15 years in her work.

Catherine is the Local Area Coordinator for the Living Well Programme, having trained as a Master Trainer in Chronic Disease Self-Management at Stanford University Patient Research Department and has been delivering the programme in the Community since 2011.  She has also trained as a Smoking Cessation Practitioner and as a Fit For Work & Life Facilitator with the Irish Cancer Society and has many years’ experience working as a facilitator in different capacities with a broad range of groups across the Tallaght community.

Catherine has been a member of the Patient & Community Advisory Council for six years and has been the Chairperson of this group from December 2016, she is a passionate advocate for the community in which she lives and works to support.

Maureen Callan

Maureen Callan - Volunteer Representative 
Maureen Callan has lived in Tallaght for the last 40 years and has extensive experience in working in communications and as a clinic administrator in St. James’s Hospital where she managed over 20 clinics for 11 years.

She was also a carer for her mother for a number of years and is a long-time supporter of the volunteer service in the Hospital. Her administrative experience in a busy out patients department, being a carer and advocate for her mother and volunteering in the Hospital brings a very unique insight and experience to the PCAC. 

Maureen is the most recent member to join the PCAC and is looking forward to providing input into making the Hospital experience is as patient focused as possible.
Fran Keyes
Fran Keyes - Coordinator of the Primary Health Care for Travellers Project in Tallaght Travellers 
The project works on the area of health with all Travellers living in the Tallaght area and uses a Social Determinants model of health. Fran has nearly 30 years’ experience in the area of Community Development working in the area of training and facilitation. For the past 20 years she has worked specifically in the area of Traveller health. 

She has worked with Pavee Point, a National Traveller organisation before joining the Tallaght Travellers in 2015. Part of her role as coordinator of the Primary Health Care for Travellers Project is to work with both Travellers and Service Providers to ensure that Travellers are involved and included in both the development and provision of health services. This involves providing information to Travellers in a culturally appropriate manner on services in the area and also working in partnership with service to address any barriers that may arise for Travellers and developing new initiatives.

She has Extra Mural Diplomas in Counselling Skills and Facilitation Skills from Maynooth College and a Masters in Equality Studies from UCD. As a member of the Patient Community Advisory Council at Tallaght University Hospital she represents the traveller community in Tallaght bringing with her a wealth of experience.
Declan Daly
Declan Daly - Patient Representative & Vice Chair of the PCAC 
Declan has a MBs in Co-operative and Social Enterprise and has worked in the financial sector for over 20 years in both voluntary capacity and also as a CEO.

Due to a long term chronic health condition, Declan became involved with the Living Well Programme as a participant, became a Volunteer Leader and has now completed his Master Training in Chronic Disease Self-Management and Cancer Thriving and Surviving.  Declan has now shifted his focus to the Community Sector and is currently the Lay Co-Coordinator for the Living Well Programme with Fettercairn Community Health Project.  Declan brings his understanding of the difficulties associated with reduced mobility to the PCAC and has the ability to articulate the voice of members within his community who have similar mobility issues.

Declan is committed to improving the role of the community in the development of Tallaght University Hospital and its services, he is also the patient representative on the Quality, Safety and Risk Management board (QSRM) for the Hospital.
Aine Lynch
Áine Lynch - Director of Nursing, Tallaght University Hospital 
Áine moved from the Adelaide Hospital to Tallaght University Hospital on the day it opened on June 21st 1998. She has spent almost two decades working in several positions at Tallaght including Clinical Nurse Manager II in Trauma Orthopaedics, Clinical Facilitator in Orthopaedic Nursing, Nurse Practice Development Advisor and Nurse Practice Development Co-ordinator in the Adult Services. In her earlier career, she also spent five years working abroad in both the UK and Saudi Arabia. 

She moved from Tallaght University Hospital to the HSE in 2016 for just over a year where she initially worked as Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Officer and later held the role of Interim Director at the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit (Dublin, South Kildare & Wicklow) for a period of nine months. This provided her with a unique opportunity to support nurses in all disciplines: midwifery, mental health, intellectual disability, public health and older persons care.

Áine was very happy to return to Tallaght University Hospital in April 2017 as she believes it maintains a strong focus on ‘people caring for people’. Along with the nursing service, she is also executive lead for the Patient Advocacy, Pastoral Care and Arts and Health Departments and the Patient and Community Advisory Council.
Carol Mullin
Carol Mullins - Patient Advocacy Co-ordinator & Patient Experience Lead, Tallaght University Hospital 
Carol Mullins is the Patient Advocacy Co-ordinator & Patient Experience Lead for Tallaght University Hospital. In this role she represents the patients of the Hospital who want to provide feedback on their patient experience positive and negative. She deals with the medical staff in resolving any questions or queries patients have about their experience during their patient care.

This Hospital service vice was established in 2002 by Carol and she remains the driving force behind the development of the service. The objectives of Patient Advocacy is to represent the patient voice, advise senior management on learnings and continuous improvement projects that can be established based on the evidence of feedback received, positive and negative. This all ultimately leads to the delivery of safer patient care which is the mission of the Hospital.

Carol has over 20 years’ experience working in healthcare. She has extensive experience in the delivery of front line services having worked as Administrative Manager in the Emergency Department before undertaking her current role. She has participated in the Patient Community Advisory Council since its establishment in 2012.
Amanda McCormack
Amanda Mc Cormack - Clinical Nurse Manager, Tallaght University Hospital 
Amanda is a Clinical Nurse Manager on the Children’s Day Ward in the paediatric service at Tallaght University Hospital. She trained as a General Nurse in the Hospital and worked in the Adult service for a number of years. Following some travelling around Asia, Australia and New Zealand she worked as a nurse in a variety of health settings. Upon her return to Ireland she continued her nursing training in paediatrics and has worked in the Children’s service for over 10 years and it is an area of healthcare she thoroughly enjoys. 

A proud native of Tallaght, Amanda is both living and working in the area raising her family. Amanda joined the PCAC in 2015 and thoroughly enjoys participating in the group which is so closely aligned to the area that she is from and so supportive of.
Joanne Coffe
Joanne Coffey - Communications Manager, Tallaght University Hospital
In her role as Communications Manager for the Hospital, Joanne acts as the communications link within the Hospital and also to our surrounding communities, keeping everyone informed of news and events that take place involving Tallaght University Hospital.

A former volunteer tutor with the National Adult Literacy Agency, she has a great enthusiasm for keeping things simple and ensuring any information presented by the Hospital is done in an accessible way. As a member of the PCAC since 2014 she has involved the group in many different initiatives, such as the new hospital website, Know My Medicines and the Tallaght University Hospital Patient App. She makes every effort to ensure that the interests of the patient is at the forefront of everything that is developed by the Hospital.

She is also the key link between the Hospital and community in developing a growing popular series of Public Health Education talks. These events bring various members of speciality medical teams out into the community to educate on various health topics and answer questions from members of the public.