Hospice officially opens to patients

Palliative care unit launched last year by Health Minister

Roscommon Palliative Care Unit Officially Opens to Patients, just over a year after it was launched by Minister Of Health Stephen Donnelly T.D. The eight bed inpatient unit with full day-care facilities will provide palliative care services to people with life limiting illnesses and their families in Co Roscommon. Pictured handing over the keys is Mayo Roscommon Hospice foundation Chairperson Mike Smith to Mary Garvey, manager of Roscommon University Hospital. Pic: Michael Mc Laughlin

The new Roscommon Hospice unit officially opened to patients on Monday just over a year after it was launched by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

The state-of-the-art eight-bed unit, which will be under the governance and management of Roscommon University Hospital (RUH) cost €6.3 million and was paid for by fundraised income.

  Patients and their families will have access to care from a range of specialist medical, nursing and health and social care professionals including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, dietetics, speech and language therapy and pastoral care.

The Roscommon Palliative Home Care Team, which is under the governance of HSE Community Healthcare West, will also be based in the new Unit and will work closely with the Unit’s inpatient team.

Commenting on the opening this week, Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation Chairperson Mike Smith said he was thrilled the unit was now in operation.

“The Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation is 30 years old this year and what better way to start the year. The local community have played a vital part in making it all happen,” he said.

“Palliative care services are so badly needed in Roscommon and I’m delighted the first patients will be welcomed by the staff this week. There is a wonderful team to look after each individual’s needs and we wish all the staff the very best of luck in the Roscommon Hospice”.

Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation CEO Martin Jennings said the unit was made possible thanks to the generosity of communities in Roscommon and Mayo.

“Everyone involved in fundraising was determined to ensure that patients with life limiting illnesses from Mayo and Roscommon have the best possible facilities, where they can be cared for with dignity and respect. I’m very proud of what this community has achieved,” she said.

“Our palliative care teams in the community saw a significant increase in new patients in 2022, and unfortunately, we expect this trend to continue. We are committed to continuing to fund, support and develop this service and we will need to continue fundraising to keep palliative care services running in the community and at our Hospices”.

Ms Jennings thanked volunteers, fundraisers and donors as well as the Saolta University Health Care Group, the HSE and Department of Health.

Roscommon University Hospital Manager Mary Garvey thanked Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation for its financial support.

“I would like to thank all of the staff in the hospital who have worked so hard over the past few months in preparing for the opening of the unit. I would also like to thank our colleagues in HSE Support Services and HSE Capital Estates for their assistance,” she said.

“We have worked closely with the team in Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation, and we are especially grateful to them for their ongoing financial support in providing palliative services in both this unit and in the Home Care Team. We look forward to working with all GPs and healthcare professionals in the region to deliver seamless palliative care to patients and their families,” she concluded.