The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has welcomed an additional €1 million in funding for Wicklow Hospice.
It comes as part of a €1.5 million payment to the Our Lady’s Hospice group of which Wicklow Hospice is a part.
The payment is expected to be used to substantially reduce the Hospice’s mortgage and will give the organisation a greater level of financial freedom.
In November last year Minister Donnelly announced €10 million in once-off funding for palliative and end-of-life care of which Wicklow received €620,000.
The funding was to support the voluntary palliative care sector to maintain critical and ongoing care services for adults and children in the context of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcing the latest round of funding Minister Donnelly praised the work being done by Wicklow Hospice and the wider hospice sector.
Minister Donnelly said: “The work being done by our voluntary hospice sector is incredibly important as they provide immense care and support to their patients and families at a time when it is needed the most.
“I’ve seen first-hand the tremendous work done by Wicklow Hospice and know how they along with the support of the local community have managed to build a world class facility.
“It has been an extremely challenging time for the entire sector as they have had to deal with COVID-19 but their response has been fantastic.
“I will continue to support our voluntary hospice sector in any way I can
Minister Donnelly added: “The recurring nature of the €10.68m allocation reflects a long-term commitment by the Government to this vital service and my own views of the value and unique role that voluntary hospices play and will continue to play in Irish society.
“The additional funding is designed to take account of the potential impact of the loss of fundraising income during the public health emergency, but most importantly, ensures when such activity gets back on track it can be used to enhance and improve services, rather than fund core services.”
Chief Executive Officer of Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Audrey Houlihan said: “We are grateful to the HSE who meet the operating costs of Wicklow Hospice.
However, we also rely on the on-going and generous support of the people of Wicklow to help us to fund the bank loan of €2.75 million that was required to finish the recent building work.
“Today, we are truly delighted to receive funding of €1million to support with our loan repayment. We are very grateful to Minister Donnelly who has been a strong supporter of this project from the outset as he understands what an important service we provide for patients and families in the community.
“We will continue to fundraise to provide high quality care to our patients and families.”