The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has welcomed the Department of Health’s latest commitment to developing a “much-needed hospice unit” in the North East.
The move comes as part of a broader 'Statement of Strategy' set to be rolled out over the the next three years.
“We have consistently highlighted the need for a Level III hospice unit to serve the people of Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan,” said Angela Edghill, Advocacy and Public Engagement Manager for the IHF. “Not having a full service has meant that patients with complex palliative symptoms have had to be transferred to acute hospitals, often through a busy Emergency Department.”
“The IHF believes that everyone is entitled to prompt access to good quality palliative and end-of-life care when they need it, regardless of where they live. People in North East counties are being denied the full range of services available in other areas. The Department of Health and the HSE are both committed to funding the running of a hospice if it is built by local community funding, affording another opportunity to support and add to existing palliative care services."
The Department’s strategy also commits to work with nongovernmental organisations to improve information and awareness of end of life services, particularly those which provide people with palliative care in the location they choose.
“More than 74% of people in Ireland say that they want to be cared for at home at end of life. Only 24% of people get to fulfil that wish. Our programmes are directed at supporting improvements which could enable more people to die well in the location of their choice,” concluded Ms Edghill.