DSS Director wins Irish Healthcare Person of the Year 2023

02 Jun, 2023


On Friday (26th May), hundreds of people from the Irish healthcare industry attended the annual Irish Healthcare Centre Awards ceremony In Dublin’s Royal Marine Hotel.

At the ceremony, the Decision Support Service Director Áine Flynn, was honoured with the final award of the evening - the Healthcare Person of the Year 2023.

The award, previously awarded to Dr Tony Holohan (2022), was presented in recognition of Áine’s  work in supporting the establishment of the new national service – the Decision Support Service - under the Assisted Decision-Making Capacity Act 2015 to promote, register and supervise decision-support arrangements for people who may need decision supports now or  in the future.

In her introduction, the host Marty Whelan said that Áine’s challenge had been to take a reforming Act as a blueprint and deliver a service to replace the 150-year-old wardship system, all of it finally coming to life on 26 April this year.

With the expert support of Mental Health Commissions colleagues, Áine worked on an establishment project with 30 sub-projects to design and build a public facing service, define processes and policies to deliver multiple statutory functions, recruit and train staff and panels, publish a suite of codes of practice, engage directly with thousands of very diverse stakeholders, including three separate Government Departments, and devise a public information campaign to make sure Ireland at large is informed about these changes.

In accepting her award Áine Flynn, Director of the Decision Support Service said “This was a team effort, and we have many friends and champions who have been working alongside us to bring about this change.” Áine said that the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is an Act that matters to everyone , referencing the current DSS public information campaign and its tagline which encapsulates the core message of the service: My Decisions: My Rights

Áine said. “We have tried always to keep the person at the heart of the DSS and we look forward to working with our stakeholders and customers as we begin our next chapter as an operational service.”


For a full list of the award winners from the night as well as more information about the awards please see 2023 Winners (irishhealthcarecentreawards.com).

Decision Support Service Director Aine Flynn at the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards, presented with   the Healthcare Person of the Year 2023 award.

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