Prior to commencing his PhD, Pádraic worked in health and social research for almost 10 years since graduating with an M.Sc. in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin. During that time, Pádraic was awarded a position on the Irish Aid overseas development programme where he worked as United Nations intern with the World Health Organization in Vietnam (2006) based in the Hanoi School of Public Health. He published work spanning projects related to Employment Guidance Services for people with disabilities as well as various research projects undertaken during his time as Research Officer in the Programme Evaluation Unit of the National Cancer Screening Service in Ireland.
In 2014, Padraic was awarded a prestigious Young Forum Gastein Scholarship for the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) 2014, offering a unique opportunity to learn about current developments in Europe and to network with a number of high-level experts in the sphere of health. In 2017, he was appointed to a national Task Force on personalised budgets for people with disabilities.
After completing his PhD in the CMHCR, as part of the prestigious HRB-funded SPHeRE (Structured Population Health Services Research Education) doctoral programme (under the joint supervision of Professor Sinead McGilloway and Dr Sarah Barry (Trinity College Dublin), Padraic took up the role of research manager in the Health Service Executive (HSE), to work with the newly appointed Head of Research and Evidence to set up a dedicated research function within the health service. Within 12 months, Padraic was promoted to a senior management position as Health and Geospatial Data Scientist within the Health Intelligence Unit (a subsidiary of the overall R&E function). Health Intelligence, in partnership with national service delivery teams, is responsible for utilising and translating national datasets to improve patient care, quality assurance and improvement, service delivery and research. In July 2019, Padraic began the role of Research and Policy Manager with Barnardos.
Pádraic’s PhD research investigated if individualised funding initiatives are: effective for improving health and social care outcomes; feasible within the Irish context; and, an appropriate mechanism for supporting people with disabilities to gain more choice and control over their lives; independence; and self-determined lives that are fully integrated within the community.
As part of this work, Pádraic has conducted a 15-year trend mapping exercise of traditional day services for people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland. This offers important insights into how emergent trends can inform future direction of disability services, offering internationally relevant recommendations. In parallel, Pádraic has conducted an in-depth qualitative evaluation of four pilot initiatives in Ireland, including a documentary analysis, in-depth interviews and a participatory workshop to present initial findings to research participants and other key stakeholders.
Pádraic also worked on a Campbell Collaboration systematic review to determine if international evidence indicates whether individualised funding is effective at improving a range of health and social care outcomes for people with a disability. Both the Title Registration Form for this work plus the detailed study protocol are available from the Campbell collaboration website (www.campbellcollaboration.org). Please see also our section on Systematic Reviews below.