An artist’s impression of the new 21-bed Regional Specialist Inpatient Unit & Day Service in Palliative Medicine, which will be located at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) has been unveiled. Planning permission has been granted for the hospice unit, which is due to be completed by 2017. Construction is due to begin in 2016.
When completed, the unit will be accommodated on the first two floors of an overall five story integrated development at UHW and will act as a focal point for the delivery of specialist palliative care, inpatient day services and community services to patients and their families within the South East.
As well as 21 single inpatient rooms the facility will include a Day Care Unit, consultation rooms, treatment rooms, therapy centre and dining area.
The Waterford Hospice Movement and the Board of Waterford Hospice have long campaigned to have this vital piece of health infrastructure delivered to the people of the region. HSE South will provide the revenue cost for the palliative development. Waterford Hospice Movement is significantly supporting the capital cost of the development and to date has collected almost €4 million.
With a fund-raising target of €6 million and a commitment from both the Waterford Hospice Movement and the HSE to co-fund the building, the board is confident that it will be able to raise the necessary funds over the next two years through a number of fundraising activities such as Sunflower Days and the annual Waterford Hospice ‘A Walk To Remember’ which takes place in November.
Danette Connolly, Chairperson, Waterford Hospice Movement said, “We are totally committed to working with the HSE and UHW to ensuring that this much-needed unit is delivered to the people of the South East, on budget and within the specified timeframe. In addition to meeting palliative care needs, this project is providing much needed employment in the region. We are also deeply indebted to the generosity of people in the south east for the support and encouragement we have received thus far, and we very much look forward to their continued support as we enter this exciting stage in the development of the new building.”
Commenting on the new unit, Patricia Sullivan, newly appointed Nurse Manager, Waterford Hospice Home Care Service, said, “We are really looking forward to the completion of the building, which will complement the Home Care and Day Care services provided by Waterford Hospice such as patient support, bereavement counselling, etc. The unit is being hugely welcomed by the many patients and families within the South East who are in need of this much-awaited facility.”
Waterford Hospice Movement is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1988 to provide palliative and end of life care to patients with advanced life-threatening illnesses in their own homes and in nursing homes throughout Waterford city, county and South Kilkenny, covering a population of 120,000.
This care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, occupational and complementary therapists who work closely with GPs, Public Health Nurses and other professionals in the community and at UHW. The Hospice supplies specialist equipment for pain control and comfort as well as psychological and social support for patients and their families – irrespective of financial means. It costs Waterford Hospice in the region of €600,000 annually to provide these services. Most of this, (63%), has to be raised through donations and fundraising events with the remainder (37%) provided by way of a grant from the HSE.
Further information on the Waterford Hospice Movement can be found at www.waterfordhospice.ie