Seanad debates

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Hospice Services

2:30 pm

Photo of Mary ButlerMary Butler (Waterford, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

St. Joseph's care centre provides 24-hour nursing care. The newly refurbished room allows palliative and palliative-respite care to be provided. The HSE is committed to a continued review of the occupancy of the palliative-care supported bed with the option to increase the number of designated beds required, which is welcome. I imagine it will examine the statistics at the end of the year.

The programme for Government aims to improve access to specialist palliative inpatient services through the development of a hospice to serve every region in the country. The midlands has been identified as a region for the development of a new specialist inpatient palliative care service. The Department of Health is actively engaging with the HSE to progress plans for this development. The development of this unit will ensure that those with palliative care needs and their families living in the midlands counties, including Longford, can access the services they need to improve their quality of live. The Government's commitment to improving palliative and end-of-life services is laid out in its programme for Government.

From my perspective, we have a new unit in Waterford, the Dunmore wing, in University Hospital Waterford. It was completed two years ago but was used for Covid. It opened recently for palliative care. It is led by a consultant for people at end-of-life. It is a fantastic facility. Other beds were closed in different areas. This is acute care for end-of-life. I take comfort from the statement that there is commitment to a review of the occupancy of the palliative care supported bed with the option to increase the number of designated beds if required.

That is probably the best the Senator is going to get at the moment. The statistics say 54% and 64%. I am happy to talk to him again because I know how important these beds are.


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