The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has announced €10 million in once-off funding for palliative and end-of-life care in 2020 which include €350,000 for North West Hospice and €750,000 for Galway Hospice.
The funding will 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.
Minister Donnelly said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, especially those who are vulnerable, their families and those who care for them. Hospices and other providers of palliative care have really stepped up to support people with palliative and end-of-life care needs and their families during this most difficult time.”
“They have also supported acute hospitals and community health services, including nursing homes, to meet the rising demand for palliative and end-of-life care associated with COVID-19. At the same time their fundraising activities have unfortunately been curtailed due to the pandemic, impacting on their capacity to maintain their vital services”.
Minister Donnelly went on to say that: “The funding I am announcing today will help the palliative care sector to continue to provide their essential services as the pandemic continues and will also help cement some of the innovations that the sector has been engaged in, including the provision of virtual supports and telemedicine”.
Of the €10 million, €8.5 million will be distributed to the members of the Voluntary Hospice Group. In addition, €350,000 will be provided for specialist palliative home care in the South East, €750,000 will be granted to the Laura Lynn Hospice, and €400,000 will be distributed equally between the Irish Hospice Foundation, the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society.
Today’s announcement follows the budget day commitment by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, to the provision of this funding.
This once-off funding can be used for improvements to premises, facilities and ICT systems, telehealth and telemedicine platforms, education and training programmes and to offset lost fundraised income as a direct result of restrictions to counter the spread of COVID-19.