Head Office
Western Care Association
John Moore Road
Co Mayo
Tel: (094) 9029100
(International: +353 94 9029100)
Email: info@westerncare.com

Chief Executive Officer
Dr Mary Boyd
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: (094) 9029103
Email: wcaceo@westerncare.com

should be addressed to
Anne Chambers
Head of Operations
Tel: (094) 9029113
Email: cbarrett@westerncare.com

HR Department
Annette Joyce
Head of Human Resources
Tel: (094) 9029100
Email: hr@westerncare.com

Finance Department
Tia Crowley
Head of Finance & Corporate Services
Tel: (094) 9029109
Email: tcrowley@westerncare.com

Training & Development
Tel: (094) 9029138
Email: jmurray@westerncare.com

Tel: (094) 9025133
Email: fundraiser@westerncare.com

Western Care Association is committed to providing a quality service for service users and their families. Complaints are regarded as an important source of information for improving services. The complaints policy enables matters of concern to be brought to the attention of the organisation and enables an investigation of these concerns with the aim of finding a satisfactory resolution and overall improvement of services. The full “Procedure for the Resolution of Concerns and Complaints to Western Care Association”, can be accessed here. Complaints Procedure


See Also Complaints Leaflet


How can a complaint be made?


Complaints can be made either verbally, written, email or fax or by using the Western Care Association Complaints Register.


Who can make a complaint?


Any person/family who is being provided with, has been provided with or is seeking to be provided with services by Western Care Association.  If a person is unable to make a complaint due to age, illness or disability, the complaint can be made on their behalf with their permission.




Section 48 of the Health Act 2004 (1) outlines that a person is not entitled to make a complaint about certain matters e.g. matters that are or have been subject to legal proceedings, exercise of clinical judgement etc.  A full list of these exclusions is outlined in the “Procedure for the Resolution of Concerns and Complaints to Western Care Association”.


Who can I make a complaint to?


 Stage 1: You should talk to the staff who work directly with you/your family member as this is usually the best way to bring forward an issue or a concern and have it resolved informally.


 Stage 2: If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your complaint by talking to the staff who work directly with you/your family member, or you feel you can’t address the issue with them, you should contact the Complaints Officer for your area, who will look into your complaint.  (Note: It may be possible to resolve your complaint informally at this point).


What will happen next?

    • If informal resolution is not possible, the Complaints Officer will carry out a formal investigation of your complaint, drawing on appropriate expertise, skills etc as required.


    • Your complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days of decision to formally investigate.


    • The Complaints Officer will endeavor to resolve your complaint within 30 working days of it being acknowledged.  If, however, this is not possible, you will be informed of this by the Complaints Officer within 30 working days of the acknowledgement, giving an indication of the time it will take to complete the investigation.


    • The Complaints Officer will thereafter update you every 20 working days on the progress of the investigation.



Appeals Process


Stage 3 (Internal review):  If you are not happy with the outcome of the investigation into your complaint, you can request an Internal Review by Western Care Association. This request must be made within 30 working days of receipt of the final report on your complaint


Stage 4 (External Review): At any stage of the complaints process you can request an external review by The Ombudsman/Ombudsman for Children.


We are required to log all complaints, both informal and formal.


Time Limits for Making a Complaint.


Part 9, Section 47 of the Health Act 2004 outlines that a complaint must be made within:

    • 12 months of the date of the action giving rise to the complaint or


    • Within 12 months of the complainant becoming aware of the action giving rise to the complaint.



These time limits may be extended if, in the opinion of the Complaints Officer, special circumstances make it appropriate to do so.


 Contact information:


Complaints Officer:


Western Care Association, John Moore Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo


Tel: 094 90 25133    Email: complaints@westerncare.com


Western Care Internal Reviewer:


Training and Development Manager,


John Moore Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo


Tel: 094 9025133    Email: complaints@westerncare.com


Office of the Ombudsman:


6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773


Tel: 01 639 5600           Email: complaints@ombudsman.ie


Website:  www.ombudsman.ie


Ombudsman for Children Office:


Millennium House, 52-56 Great Strand Street, Dublin 1


Lo-call: 1800 20 20 40   Email: oco@oco.ie




Confidential Recipient


 You can also make a complaint to Gráinne Cunningham-O'Brien, the Confidential Recipient, who is an independent person appointed by the HSE to receive concerns and allegations of abuse, negligence, mistreatment or poor care practices in HSE or HSE funded residential care facilities in good faith from patients, service users, families, other concerned individuals and staff members.


Gráinne Cunningham-O'Brien


Confidential Recipient for Vulnerable Persons


Training Services Centre






Telephone: 061 585603


Mobile: 087 665 7269


Email: grainnecunningham@crhealth.ie

Links – Ireland

Ability West Based in the West of Ireland, Ability West provide a range of personal high quality, community based services to persons with learning disabilities and their families. Services are provided for children, teenagers and adults. https://www.abilitywest.ie/

Activelink works with non-profit organisations to develop online communications in the public interest, to promote action and participation and to foster the sharing of ideas, experience and information. https://www.activelink.ie/

AHEAD, the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability, is an independent non-profit organisation working to promote full access to, and participation in, third level education for students with disabilities in Ireland. https://www.ahead.ie/

The Brothers of Charity Services serve people with an intellectual disability and their families throughout the world. This website is dedicated to the services in Ireland.  https://www.brothersofcharity.ie/

Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups is a centre for small national voluntary organisations working at the cutting edge in areas such as disability, illness, education, the arts, the environment and social care. The principal objective of the Centre is to nurture and support the development of small voluntary groups, providing an environment which stimulates this development.  It offers a wide range of training courses. https://www.carmichaelireland.ie/

Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education (CECDE) CECDE aims to develop and co-ordinate early childhood education and to advise the Department of Education and Science on policy issues in this area. The Centre's brief covers children from 0 to 6 years of age in a wide variety of settings, including families, nurseries, crèches, playgroups, child minders, preschools and the infant classes of primary schools. http://www.cecde.ie/

Citizens Information Board (Advocacy Resources) The Citizens Information Board's advocacy role involves assisting and supporting individuals, particularly those with disabilities, in identifying and understanding their needs and options and in accessing their entitlements to social services.  This will link you to all their advocacy resources. https://www.citizensinformationboard.ie/en/

Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) Disability Federation of Ireland is the national support organisation and advocate for voluntary organisations in Ireland who provide services to people with disabilities. https://www.disability-federation.ie/

Down Syndrome Ireland Down Syndrome Ireland's goal is to help people with Down syndrome make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way through its 23-branch network nationwide. Downsyndrome.ie

Enable Ireland Enable Ireland's mission is to enable those who use its services to achieve maximum independence, choice and inclusion in their communities. https://www.enableireland.ie/

The Health Research Board provides funding and support for research under two strategic strands, Science for Health and Research and Development for Health.  The HRB offers a number of different support schemes to researchers and health professionals.  Details of all HRB research funding schemes, including scope, eligibility and how to apply, may be found in Funding Available. The HRB also promotes the development of health research at national and international level by running training courses. Https://www.hrb.ie/

Inclusion Ireland is a national voluntary umbrella organisation working to promote the rights of people with intellectual disability in Ireland to ensure their full and equal participation in society. http://www.inclusionireland.ie/

The National Disability Authority, on behalf of the State, promotes and helps secure the rights of people with disabilities. The NDA's responsibilities include policy development, research and advice on standards. http://nda.ie/

National Federation of Voluntary Bodies - The organisation for voluntary/non-statutory agencies who provide direct services to people with intellectual disability.  The website will provide you with key information on the range of activities taking place in intellectual disability services in Ireland and the role played by the National Federation. http://www.fedvol.ie/

The National Institute for Intellectual Disability is based at Trinity College and seeks to promote the inclusion of people with intellectual disability and their families.  Formally established in 1998, the NIID works to ensure that the basic human rights of people with intellectual disability are upheld.  https://www.tcd.ie/tcpid/

NUIG Disability Law and Policy Research Unit - The main aim of the Centre is to provide a forum and focus for disability related legal and policy research in Ireland. https://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-disability-law-policy/

Office of Data Protection Commissioner - Data Protection is about your fundamental right to privacy.  Those who keep data about you have to comply with data protection principles.   This site gives information on individuals' rights and on Organisations' responsibilities. https://www.dataprotection.ie/

The Wheel is a national network connecting Community and Voluntary organisations across Ireland. Established in 1999, The Wheel has evolved to become a resource centre and forum for the Community and Voluntary sector. https://www.wheel.ie/

 UCD Centre for Disability Studies - The Centre aims to promote the inclusion and independence of people with disabilities through excellent research, teaching and service to the wider community. https://www.ucd.ie/psychology/research/researchcentresandlaboratories/ucdcentrefordisabilitystudies/

Links - International

The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) is committed to improving the quality of life for the 1.2 million people in the UK with a learning disability. https://www.bild.org.uk/

The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), has been at the forefront of the movement to improve the quality of services and supports for people with intellectual disabilities and people with mental health issues.  It began with the fundamental belief that everyone has a right to a life of dignity, opportunity and community inclusion.  The Council on Quality and Leadership provides accreditation for services based on their Personal Outcomes Measures. https://www.c-q-l.org/

David Pitonyak - Supporting people who experience disabilities and exhibit, what some have called, "difficult behaviours".  David's practice is based upon a simple idea, difficult behaviours result from unmet needs.  In a sense, difficult behaviours are messages which can tell us important things about a person and the quality of his or her life. http://dimagine.com/

Inclusion Europe - The European Association of Societies of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families:  Inclusion Europe is a non-profit organisation that campaigns for the rights and interests of people with intellectual disabilities and their families throughout Europe.  Respect, Solidarity and Inclusion are the fundamental values shared by all members of the movement of and for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.  People with intellectual disabilities are citizens of their country. They have an equal right to be included in society, whatever the level of their disability. http://www.inclusion-europe.eu/

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is one of the largest social policy research and development charities in the UK. It spends about £7 million a year on a research and development programme that seeks to better understand the causes of social difficulties and explore ways of better overcoming them. https://www.jrf.org.uk/

The Norah Fry Research Centre is one of the leading centres in the UK for research into services for people with learning difficulties.


The Tizard Centre, University of Kent, is one of the leading UK academic groups working in learning disability and community care.  The Tizard Centre is committed to consultancy, research and teaching that acknowledge diversity and address issues arising from social inequality. https://www.kent.ac.uk/social-policy-sociology-social-research/tizard