Laois Hospice will back new unit if community care is sorted out first

Laois Hospice will back new unit if community care is sorted out first

The leadership of Laois Hospice has backed the setting up of an acute hospice unit for the midlands, but not at the expense of care of people who wish to die at home.

Chairman Seamus O'Donoghue and Clinical Dircector, Peter Naughton were on the top table for the the public meeting.

Mr Naughton said the hospice must look at the future.

“Do we need a level 1 bed unit? We have been looking for it for 20 years.

“We absolutely support it after we put our home care and services for the majority of people in Laois.

“We would fully support a dedicated unit in the midlands and we need it,” he said.

The retired surgeon said he had seen first hand the high quality of services delivered by hospice units in Dublin in recent times.

“People talk about a two tier system, when you are alive there is a two tier system, when you are dying now as well depending on where you are living,” he said.

Mr Naughton gave a history of the hospice since it was set up with €30,000 in 1990. During the years he said services provided have expanded substantially, but he added that Laois Hospice must look to the future.

He said it was no longer sustainable for a voluntary organisation to manage an annual budget of €250,000.

As he was chairing the meeting Mr O'Donoghue stayed neutral for most of the public meeting.

At the end he asked for a show of hands of people who believe Laois hospice should prioritise homecare services. A majority backed this view.

“We will see what we can develop, and how we can increase the number of people who wish die in their own homes and will be in contact with Offaly Hospice to see what joint manner we can work together for the benefit of the people in both communities.

“ In due course we will be meeting with the people in other counties,”he said.