Dignity4Patients is a patient support, information and advocacy organisation setup to support you. Our Services are for people who have experienced sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual behaviour by a healthcare practitioner in a medical, healthcare, or therapeutic environment. Our intention is to restore your dignity and support you on your journey to access your rights, seek justice and obtain acknowledgement of the crime committed against you.
What to Expect
Dignity4Patients provides a range of services to meet the needs of patient victims and survivors. We aim to provide you with the support and information that will assist you in making the best choices for your healing and recovery process.
What can you expect when availing of our services?
All callers can expect any information disclosed to us will be handled in complete confidence.
When you contact Dignity4Patients we will:
Listen to you, address your concerns, and support you in your needs.
Explain who we are and how we can help you.
Offer you support, Information and Advocacy through our helpline service.
Offer personalised One-to-One appointments and Group Information Meetings.
Provide a wide range of information helpful to patient victims and survivors.
Our Helpline Services
Dignity4Patients speaks and acts on behalf of patients to promote and protect their health, safety and rights as patients. This includes supporting patients who contact us and liaising with relevant authorities and agencies and assisting victim and survivors in coping with often difficult and fearful processes of dealing with patient sexual abuse.
Our combined understanding of both Patient and Sexual Abuse issues enables us to provide a unique and essential service to Irish Patients and their families. We are unrelenting advocates for patient victims, survivors, their families and work for the protection of all Irish Patients.
Our Helpline Services:
One to One Appointments
Third Party Referrals
SAI (Support Advocacy & Information) Group Meetings
Informing and updating patient victims and survivors
Information and Assistance with:
Reporting to Health, Criminal and Civil Authorities
Accessing counselling support and general health care
Ensuring appropriate Inquiry into patient sexual abuse
It can be hard to know where to turn to for trusted information after experiencing sexual abuse or sexual misconduct in Ireland’s healthcare services. As a victim of sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual behaviour as a patient, we understand you may feel confused, overwhelmed or uncertain about your treatment, procedures undertaken or the conduct of your healthcare practitioner. Dignity4Patients can help you find answers to your questions or advice to obtain help for yourself.
Information on Sexual Misconduct in a Medical Environment
The Practitioner - Patient relationship is a privileged one which depends on the patients trust. Healthcare Practitioners are obliged to always act in the best interest of their patients.
Sexual misconduct is any sexual contact, speech, or behaviour between a health care practitioner and his/her patient.
Examples of sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual misconduct
Any attempt to seduce or to coerce an inappropriate relationship with a patient.
Any sexually erotic or suggestive remarks or comments about the patient.
Any sexual questioning of the patient’s sex life, relationships not related to care.
Any fondling of a patient while they are awake or while they are under anaesthesia.
Any intimate physical exam without explaining why it is needed, what is involved.
Any intimate physical exam without obtaining the consent of the patient.
Effect of Trauma on a Patient
Social and Behavioural Problems:
Possible relationship difficulties; risky sexual behaviour; aggression and criminal behaviour.
Impaired Psychological Health:
Possible depression; substance abuse; anxiety; mood disorders; PTSD and suicide.
Cognitive and Academic Problems:
Possible drop in academic performance and underachieving at educational or work settings.
Impaired Physical Health:
Increased risk of heart disease, cancer, liver disease, and auto-immune diseases.
Compounded as those who experience abuse in a healthcare afraid to return for treatment.
Reporting an allegation of patient sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual behaviour can be a daunting experience, especially when patients are dependent on medical staff for their healthcare needs and are in a vulnerable situation. Dignity4Patients aims to provide support, advocacy and information to help make informed decisions on your reporting options.
Garda Statements & Complaints
Dignity4Patients provides information on how to make a Garda complaint, what is involved for the client and offer support during and after the process. We also provide information relating to the Criminal Justice System and the role of the (DPP) Director of Public Prosecutions.
Complaints to Public Bodies
Dignity4Patients will submit complaints and/or assist clients with their complaints to the Ombudsman’s Office, Data Protection Commissioner and the Information Commissioner.
Complaints to Medical Council & Nursing & Midwifery Board
Dignity4Patients provides information and support to clients in regard to complaints to the Medical Council & Nursing & Midwifery Board. We provide assistance with complaints or on occasion will make a complaint on behalf of the client when that assistance is requested.
Criminal and Civil Court Cases
Dignity4Patients supports clients while they go through any criminal investigation and civil court hearings. We provide information relating to the Criminal Justice System and the role of the (DPP) Director of Public Prosecutions as well as civil settlements.
In all of the above situations Dignity4Patients personnel can attend meetings and/or interviews with you for any investigative institution, in a support capacity.
Dignity4Patients provides support and information to clients when they need to request their medical records from any medical institution.
Freedom of Information
We can correspond with any Medical or Healthcare facility when clients experience difficulty in obtaining medical records from their medical practitioners. We also advise clients and if requested intercede with medical facilities in order to assist in finding all and any records available utilising Freedom of Information requests and GDPR Subject Access Requests.
Using our medical knowledge and experience Dignity4Patients can provide expertise to assist clients in reviewing and understanding their medical records and the terminology used in their medical notes.
Dignity4Patients gives support and information to clients regarding Freedom of Information and Data Protection regulations relating to their requests for medical records.
As a specialist service underpinned by medical knowledge, health service expertise and a having justice orientated focus, Dignity4Patients provides a Accompaniment service to support you, where necessary, for the healing of patient victims of sexual abuse.
Securing justice is a very important step not just for victims but for the protection of our society, particularly those who are most vulnerable when sick or injured or availing of treatment from Ireland health services.
Liaising with the Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána and other justice and legal agencies on behalf of victims and survivors for their well-being provides a step towards healing the pain experienced by patient victims of sexual violence through the acknowledgement and recognition of their suffering in the courts.
Dignity4Patients provides support, advocacy and information to those having their complaint investigated by An Garda Síochána, a complaint under consideration by the Director of Public Prosecutions, right through to those facing a Court Trial as a witness.
Our aim is to ensure all patient victims’ rights are met under the Victim Charter legislation and victims and survivors are supported every step of the way.