‘I’ll staff €4.5m Hospice Unit’

A commitment by Health Minister Simon Harris that the funding will be provided to staff the planned 8-bed Hospice Unit at Roscommon County Hospital has been welcomed. It is understood that the Unit will be completed by 2020/2021.

  Local Oireachtas representatives and members of Mayo/Roscommon Hospice met with the Minister in Leinster House last week.

  The Mayo/Roscommon Hospice organisation has already approved the capital funds for the Palliative Care Centre and at last week’s meeting Minister Harris said he would give a written commitment to fund the staffing of the centre when it is built.

  Senator Frank Feighan said the 12,000 sq. ft. level two Hospice Unit planned for Roscommon will provide for inpatient care, a palliative day-care service, family support and bereavement services, while also serving as a base for the existing community palliative home care team.

  “This state-of-the art development will address the critical lack of an in-patient hospice care facility in County Roscommon. When complete, the centre will enable patients with life-limiting illnesses to access expert in-patient help locally.”

  Senator Feighan’s party colleague, Senator Maura Hopkins, also welcomed the funding confirmation.

  Senator Hopkins said that “Mayo/Roscommon Hospice must be strongly commended for huge effort, energy and work in bringing the project to this point.

  She added: “I am delighted that Minister Harris has been able to commit to staffing this new state-of-the-art facility.”

  Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, who attended the meeting, said that he wishes to congratulate the people from the Hospice organisation for the excellent work they do in the community.

  He said: “This will be a unique development as it will be integrated with the existing hospital and will be paid for largely by the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice.

            “The unit will cost over €4.5 million to construct and will require at least 15 staff to operate and I will be working hard to ensure that this much-needed facility comes to fruition over the next few years.”

Feighan hails ‘final piece in jigsaw’

He has – to put it mildly – been much maligned in recent years since his explosively controversial decision to vote with the Government of the day on the Roscommon A&E closure issue in 2011.

  But Senator Frank Feighan remains insistent that he would vote again as he did that day, and he continues – now as a Senator – to champion recent improvements at Roscommon Hospital.

  Senator Feighan says that Minister Harris’ commitment to staff a new Hospice Unit at the hospital is “the final piece of the jigsaw when it comes to the multi-million development programme at Roscommon County Hospital.”

 He added: “At the hospital, we now have a newly opened Endoscopy Unit; we have the formal go-ahead for the Medical Rehabilitation Unit and now the Hospice project continues to make further strides.

  “I would also like to remind everybody that the Urgent Care Centre is open from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.

  “Additionally, the air ambulance which operates from Custume Barracks and the presence of advanced paramedics continue to save many lives in this region.

  “All of this evidence clearly points to a very bright future for Roscommon Hospital and it was certainly something that many did not envisage five years ago.”