Seamus Donohue, chairman of Laois Hospice speaks at their public meeting in the Killeshin Hotel on Octobe 16.
A new project is to be funded by a Laois charity to the tune of half a million euros.
Laois Hospice has announced that it is to fully fund four full-time Home Helps, giving 5,000 hours a year to palliative care patients in Laois.
The charity is committing €500,000 over the next five years to the HSE to provide the service, to address the shortage of HSE home helps in Laois and nationally.
The announcement was made at their public meeting in the Killeshin Hotel on Wednesday October 16, where Majella O’Donnell, wife to singer Daniel O'Donnell, was a guest speaker.
Medical Director, Peter Naughton revealed their new plan.
“Next year a new programme will take place. There is a great need for home helps in Ireland. 6,000 people are waiting for help. So Laois Hospice for the next five years will fund totally four full time home helps at a cost of half a million euros, €100,000 a year. That would be 100 hours a week which I think would be a great service," he said.
“This will be for all patients requiring palliative care, not just cancer, but for conditions like chronic respiratory or chronic heart conditions. If the money is not spent fully, we will be recommending it be used to fund other home helps in the county,” Mr Naughton said.
“Our only stipulation, and this is your money, is there is an annual review to assess the return of this service,” he said.
Laois Hospice is 30 years old this year. It is funded by public donations, and a special thanks was given by Chairman Seamus O'Donohue to Laois Vintage who have raised €950,000 over the past 24 years, and to the Slieve Bloom walk on Stephen's Day which has raised €1 million in the past 26 years. He thanked all donors big and small for their continued support.
In return the charity pays €300,000 a year for four palliative care nurses to visit patients in their homes, as well as two physiotherapists and other staff. It also pays €22,000 a year for the Cuisle Centre's stay well programme, which runs day programmes in Portlaoise for people coping with cancer. They have a two bed hospice unit in St Vincent's Hospital Mountmellick and a one bed unit in Portlaoise hospital.