After years of fundraising and delays, Waterford hospice is one step closer to operating a full service from the new Palliative Care Centre in University Hospital Waterford.
The hospice homecare service has moved its administrative base into the upper ground floor and a director of nursing has been appointed.
Six million euro was raised by fundraisers towards the overall 31.26 million euro cost of the five-story Dunmore wing at UHW
The hospice homecare service will occupy the upper ground floor of the building, which will be their administrative base as well as a centre for day services in palliative medicine. When fully operational, there will also be 20 inpatient bedrooms (with individual patio gardens) on the lower ground floor for clients requiring the expertise of a specialist palliative care multidisciplinary team.
Danette Connolly, Chairperson, Waterford Hospice Movement said a director of nursing has been appointed and although things hadn't progressed as quickly as they would have liked, they were happy it was all going in the right direction:
"It's a slow process with the HSE, but the big thing is the financial commitment is there, the posts have been advertised and in fairness to the HSE they've been able to keep this all moving with everything that is going on...and in fairness to the people of Waterford they have kept money coming in throughout this time too."
Welcoming the Waterford Hospice Movement’s move to the South East Palliative Care Centre, the Chief Officer of South East Community Healthcare (SECH) Ms. Kate Killeen White said:
“Obviously, some of the plans we had in mind for the opening of the 20 bed palliative care unit in the first half of 2020 have been affected by the required, all-out effort by the health services in the South East to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. As Chair of the HSE’s South East Crisis Management Team, I was happy that the Dunmore Wing was at the disposal of that effort – including the Lower Ground Floor of the South East Palliative Care Centre. The last four months has been a challenging time for everyone and we remain on a vigilant footing. Notwitstanding that important consideration, the recruitment of medical, nursing, allied and social care professionals and administrative support staff for the South East Palliative Care Centre is budgeted for and is continuing. Our goal is to have the 20 bed palliative care unit operation in 2021".