Minister for Health Simon Harris T.D. today conducted the official opening of Wicklow Hospice, which will be the first specialist palliative care facility in the county, providing 15 public beds for those with life-limiting conditions.
Developed in Magheramore on a 3.5 acre site kindly donated by the Columban sisters, this is a section 38 facility with responsibility delegated to Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services (OLH&CS) by the HSE, who will meet the operational costs of the facility and fundraising for capital costs and enhancements for patients and families will be driven by OLH&CS.
Wicklow Hospice’s 15 in-patient public beds and specialist Community Palliative Care team will provide care for patients and families across the county (excluding West Wicklow, which comes under St. Brigid’s Hospice in Kildare) when it opens to patients in April this year.
Chief Executive of Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services (OLH&CS), Audrey Houlihan said; “This is an important milestone for the people of Wicklow and another positive step for palliative care in Ireland. This development will transform patients and families’ quality of life and meet the changing care needs of this and future generations in the local community. Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services celebrated its 140th anniversary last year and is delighted to welcome Wicklow Hospice to its family, alongside Harold’s Cross Hospice and Blackrock Hospice.”
Chair of Wicklow Hospice Foundation, Sean Dorgan said; “This is a truly wonderful achievement by the people of Wicklow. We are humbled by the efforts of groups and individuals from around the county who have come together to realise this dream to construct a state-of-the-art specialist palliative care facility for the people of the county.
“Fundraising will be ongoing to meet the building costs and for enhancements to patient care in the future. We are confident that OLH&CS, one of the oldest and largest specialist palliative care providers in the country, will provide an excellent service meeting the needs of the people in Wicklow,” he said.
Paying tribute to the commitment and dedication of all involved Minister Simon Harris thanked everyone involved in the Wicklow Hospice project for their dedication.
“It is a real pleasure to be here today celebrating this opening of wonderful facility. The commitment of the people of Wicklow to this Hospice has been immense. By its nature, palliative care is rooted in the community and what you achieved is remarkable. The Hospice will support the people of Wicklow during difficult times and work with patients and their families to celebrate life and ensure their dignity and comfort.
“Not only is this purpose-built facility a wonderful asset to our community but it is an excellent example of people working together and I thank and congratulate you most sincerely for your efforts,” he said.
Recruitment for positions at Wicklow Hospice will commence in the coming weeks. Applications will be invited for a range of roles and will be published on www.olh.ie and on OLH&CS social media channels.
Members of the public are invited to public open days on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January with guided tours of the taking place between 11am-3pm. All are welcome. (Location ps://goo.gl/maps/V41psbtBPMmS7Hfd8)