05 Jul 2022

€1 million Government cheque signed to fund Midlands hospice

€1 million Government cheque signed to fund Midlands hospice

In photo (Left to right)Tom Fennelly, Adrian Luttrell and David Fennelly from Laois are among the farmers to back the fundraiser.

Once off funding of €1 million is in the bank for the backers of a new hospice facility for the Midlands after the the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has announced €10 million in once-off funding for palliative and end-of-life care around Ireland.

A statement from the Department of Health said the funding would go to the development of the hospice at the HSE designated site in Tullamore.

The Department said the money will help to progress national priorities, including increasing the equitable access to palliative care services across Ireland. It added Funding will also be used to support palliative care services provided by voluntary organisations and support the financial sustainability of the voluntary hospice sector. 

There is no designated standalone 'Level 3' hospice for Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford.

Minister Donnelly said the availability and range of services grow significantly over the last 20 years but accepted the provision of services is not equally spread across the country. 

"I have secured €3 million of this once-off funding to progress our commitment to develop hospices in Cavan, Tullamore, and Drogheda. The development of these units will result in a hospice serving every region of the country,” he said.

A Level 3 Hospice is a specially designed and equipped building where end of life care is provided, by specially trained doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff, to patients most in need of specialist palliative care at the end of their lives.

The funding will be used to develop the design of a 20-bed palliative care unit with auxiliary services on the selected site at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore.

The Offaly Hospice Foundation committed €500,000 towards the project. In January 2020 Tullamore Lions Club and the Irish Hospice Foundation kick started the fundraising drive by each donating €25,000.

A key fundraiser is the Hooves for Hospice campaign which involves midlands farms selling cattle to raise funds for the new facility.

At the start of 2021, it was estimated that donations received and the proceeds of the animals currently being reared when they are sold would exceed €600,000.

The Minister for Health also announced funding for other hospices around Ireland as well as the LauraLynn Ireland’s Children’s hospice, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, the Irish Hospice Foundation, the Irish Cancer Society, bereavement organisations and the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care.

Of the €10 million, €3 million will be equally distributed to progress the development of hospices in Drogheda, Cavan and the Midlands which are currently in the planning stages

€5.2million will be distributed to the members of the Voluntary Hospice Group to support the valuable work of members. €200,000 will be provided to the Waterford Hospice Foundation to clear the debt on the new 20 bed specialist inpatient unit. The removal of this debt will allow Waterford Hospice Foundation to direct funds towards patient services.

The remaining €1.6 million will be distributed across a number of national organisations in the palliative care and bereavement sector. €800,000 will be granted to LauraLynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, €150,000 granted to the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, and €300,000 will be distributed equally between the Irish Hospice Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society. In addition, €100,000 will be granted to the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, and €100,000 distributed equally between bereavement organisations Anam Cara and First Light. 

The announcement follows the budget day commitment by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, to the provision of this funding.

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