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Charity VAT Compensation Scheme Urgently Needed

Posted on: September 26th, 2017
The Irish Hospice Foundation writes to Oireachtas members seeking support for the introduction of a Charity VAT Compensation Scheme in Budget 2018.

Reducing the Burden on Charities

Payment of VAT is a serious burden for hospices nationally, especially those where a capital build is planned, explains The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF). Capital builds are underway or planned in Dublin – North and South, Limerick, Galway, Mayo/Roscommon, Wicklow and Waterford, with long term plans for the Midlands, Drogheda and Cavan. It is current government policy that the capital costs of hospice units are funded from charitable sources – and to date voluntary hospice groups have funded the building of these vital facilities.
IHF CEO Sharon Foley continued: "The requirement to pay VAT on build and fit-out expenditures adds a huge burden to hospices and increases their fundraising challenges – already strained in the current climate. As an example, if a capital build costs €11m – 13% of this represents VAT – a staggering €126,500 for each hospice.  In addition the fit-out of each unit might cost €2m, so VAT will represent an additional €37,000 for the hospice. These costs should not be necessary for hospices and other such charities reliant on charitable fundraising from the public.
The IHF feels the effects of the imposition of VAT on charities. In many cases the VAT payments far exceed any Exchequer support given through the Government Charitable Donation Scheme and resulting in an annual net loss." The IHF is a member of Charities Institute Ireland (Cii) which has been campaigning for measures to reduce the burden of VAT on charities and has participated, with Finance and Revenue officials, on a Working Group set up by then Finance Minister Noonan in 2015 to look into the issue. "The Working Group Report confirmed that there are no legal obstacles to the introduction of a VAT Compensation Scheme in Ireland. In his Budget 2017 speech, Minister Noonan said that he had asked his officials to engage again with Cii with a view to reviewing the options. Earlier this year Cii provided his officials with a comprehensive updated report on the impact of VAT on charities in Ireland."

Political Support

From cross party discussions in recent weeks, Cii believes that there is significant political support across the Oireachtas for a VAT Compensation Scheme as envisaged by the Working Group.
"We hope that Budget 2018 will finally recognise the inequity, in a modern and progressive society, of levying a tax (VAT) on regulated and focused organisations dedicated to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable.
As we now approach Budget 2018, we are asking Government to bring this issue to a positive resolution and support the Irish Hospice Foundation and the voluntary hospice movement in removing the burden of VAT on charities," concluded Ms Foley.

Grant a final wish to people like Tess – support our Nurses for Night Care Service

Posted on: September 7th, 2017

Most of us want to die at home. Please grant a final wish by making a donation today.

There’s no place like home.

It could be the familiar smell when you open your front door, a cup of tea by the fireside or finding solace in your garden on a sunny day. The feeling of safety, comfort and reassurance when you are cosy in your bed at night.   Home is a place like no other and it’s no surprise so many of us want to spend our final days there with the people and comforts we love. With your help The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Nurses for Night Care service can grant a final wish. This free, national service allows people with illnesses other than cancer to die in the comfort of their own homes with loved ones. The nurse steps in at a difficult time to provide professional medical care, emotional and physical support and give carers a chance to rest and recharge.  

Pauline and her family discovered just how hard this time can be and experienced first-hand the wonderful difference our Nurses for Night Care service makes. Pauline’s mother-in-law, Tess was cared for in her home at the end of her life by the Nurse for Night Care, Ann.

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Tess whose final wish to die at home was granted thanks to generous donors like you.

“Dementia can be quite sneaky in that it creeps up very gradually. For Tess, it started off with forgetfulness, lights left on at night, cooker left on, going down a number of times a week to collect her pension and getting so upset when she was told it was already collected. This was a very difficult time for Tess as she knew something was wrong but did not know what. It was very hard for the family as this strong, capable, loving, wonderful woman was gradually slipping away - the most painful was when she did not know her children or grandchildren…” As Tess’s disease progressed, it was clear that a care plan had to be put in place with the Nurses for Night Care service stepping in during the final five nights. “Our nurse Ann was a crucial part of ‘Team Tess’ who all strived to make her last few days as comfortable as was humanly possible. Ann was someone who willingly took over Tess’s care. Her calm, reassuring nature meant that the family could leave Tess’s side without worry. We knew she was in confident, capable hands.”

Nurses for Night Care provided expertise and comfort for Tess and her family.

“The joy of being at home meant Tess was getting one-to-one care all night long. The nurse could meet her every need without Tess being in distress. Having consistency and the same nurse for the five nights was something we were very grateful for. It was a comfort for the family to get some sleep at night knowing that if Tess worsened we could be by her side instantly. In Ireland we hear a lot of negativity towards health care. However, not everyone is aware of services such as Nurses for Night Care because seeing is believing and the care and compassion delivered to Tess and our family was immeasurable.”

But the demand for this free, national service is growing every year.

In 2016 we provided over 2,000 nights of care to 600 families at a cost of €650,000. The expected spend this year has soared to €800,000! This is why we desperately need your support to continue this vital work.

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Just €40 provides one hour of night care.

 

       

To find out more about Nurses for Night Care Service and how to access it, please click HERE

Race Day 2017

Posted on: August 21st, 2017

Join us for some craic at the track on Sunday, October 22nd and help raise money for our vital work.

The day will kick off with a drinks reception at 12 noon, followed by a delicious three course luncheon.

RTE Broadcaster Tracy Piggott will be our MC for the afternoon and guests will enjoy a private tote and tipsters in the Pavilion.

There will also be a raffle, silent auction and a vault on the day with fabulous prizes including this stunning Paul Sheeran diamond necklace.

 

Buy a table of 10 or 12, tickets available ONLINE NOW

Alternatively, please contact Louise McCarron on 01 679 3188 or [email protected] to book your place.

Dying is Everyone’s Business. Can we afford to forget Grief? IHF Pre Budget Submission

Posted on: July 6th, 2017

Irish Hospice Foundation Pre Budget Submission calls for a national strategy for palliative, end of life bereavement care

  • 300,000 newly bereaved every year
  • IHF pre-budget submission calls for change
Irish Hospice Foundation Pre-Budget Submission 2018 L-R Orla Keegan, Head of Education, Research & Bereavement, Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes and Angela Edghill, Advocacy & Public Engagement Manager

Pictured at the Irish Hospice Foundation Pre-Budget Submission 2018 L-R Orla Keegan, Head of Education, Research & Bereavement, Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes and Angela Edghill, Advocacy & Public Engagement Manager.
Photo By Paul Sherwood

Today (Thursday July 6th)  the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) calls for the government to show that bereavement, palliative care, end-of life issues are priority areas for policy development and investment. At their Pre-Budget Briefing in Dublin today the IHF strongly advocates for the development of a national strategy on palliative care, end of life and bereavement to include both health and non-health areas of public policy. This underpins all 23 IHF recommendations for budget 2018. Death is an inevitable and universal experience – a fact of life. While most people will experience ‘death denial’, it is not appropriate that the State adopt the same attitude. Dying, death and bereavement present myriad challenges to the health service and to other state services. That means that a whole society approach is essential. We believe dying, death and bereavement are everyone’s business with the assumption that healthcare and other services will recognise and address our needs. The recent Sláintecare report is an important development outlining a ten year plan for radical reform of Ireland’s health system. Despite its comprehensive look at the health services, sadly bereavement was forgotten in the report. Is no-one grieving in Ireland? The facts differ. In the next 10 years[1]: Almost 300,000 people will die in Ireland Over 3,000 of those deaths will be of children Over 240,000 will be of people over 65 years of age Almost 3 million people will be bereaved[2] and up to 150,000 of these will encounter significant difficulties or ‘complicated grief’[3] Grief is the common ground on which we all stand. We urge the Government and all Oireachtas members to ensure bereavement issues are priority areas for policy development and investment. If current trends continue 5% of grieving people will require specialist mental health services/psychological intervention[4]. Given this evidence, it is essential that the healthcare system meets the needs of people facing dying, death and bereavement and ensures that everyone gets equal access to good care. By careful planning, we can make the best use of the substantial funds that we directly and indirectly invest in the care of the dying and the bereaved, and, crucially, that this planning includes helping people to live well until they die. Orla Keegan Head of Education, Research & Bereavement, IHF said: “The implications of bereavement stretch across our society – all ages, all circumstances, all cultures. The cost of building caring communities is a small investment for long-term gains. Amongst the calls being made by the Irish Hospice Foundation is one for research to uncover the financial impact of loss which will help to reframe the bereavement grant for future generations. Support for joint-working by the voluntary sector in children’s and adult bereavement care is also identified as a primary need.”

Everyone deserves the right to a good death

“Everyone in Ireland deserves to have a good death. For this to happen, improvements are needed in Primary Care, Residential Care and in Hospital settings. These improvements need to specifically focus resources and expertise available outside traditional working hours as well as the development of Specialist Palliative Care in the Midlands and North East. From a public health perspective, the IHF recommend that the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is fully commenced this year. In the meantime there is an urgency to invest resources to ensure that Irish citizens and healthcare staff are aware of and fully understand the implications of this Act, particularly the impact on advance healthcare planning and facilitating people to make choices about their own healthcare” stresses Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes, the Irish Hospice Foundation.  

Call for delivery of the best palliative, end of life and bereavement care in all care settings

The IHF asks the Government to: Ensure everyone has access to the best care at end of life and in bereavement through a political and public policy commitment to a strategic, responsive, population-wide approach to end of life issues and ensure the health care system delivers best palliative, end of life and bereavement care in all care settings. The IHF believes that with a more strategic approach, better end-of-life care can make a real difference to both the quality of healthcare provided to the citizen and the cost of health and social care to the State – a view supported by an Oireachtas Committee in 2014. [5]
  • According to Angela Edghill, Advoacy and Public Engagement Manager said “such a strategy supports: Government policy set out in the 2016 Programme for a Partnership Government[6] which seeks to ensure that we have an Ireland that looks after its people from the time they come into the world to the time they leave and promises investment in end-of-life care at all life stages. This proposed integrated approach echoes that set out in the National Positive Ageing Strategy[7] and most recently by the Finite Lives Reports[8] [9].
  • Delivery of the targets set out in the Sláintecare Report[10] of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare 2017 which builds on the 2001 National Strategy on Palliative Care (NACPC, 2001[11]) and the new framework for palliative care services, publication of which is expected.
In some cases the challenge is to simply join the dots – to enable, encourage, mainstream and replicate good practice and innovation across the whole of government and community areas.” Recommendations in the IHF pre-budget submission relate in particular the Departments of Health, Social Protection, Education and Skills, Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Children and Youth Affairs, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and An Taoiseach, but are relevant across the whole range of Government Departments and Agencies. READ FULL PRESS RELEASE AND REFERENCES HERE>>>  

A full copy of the IHF Pre-budget submission is available HERE

For further information please contact: Angela Edghill, Advocacy and Public Engagement Manager      

Booking Now Open! Forum 2017

Posted on: June 19th, 2017

Forum on end-of-life in Ireland conference 2017

  • Theme: “Have Your Say: Your Life, Your Death, Your Say”
  • When : Tuesday 10th October 2017
  • Where: Dublin Castle Conference Centre 
  • Programme details available HERE (subject to change)
  Book Now Forum on end-of-life conference 2017  

A chance to 'Have your Say'

Forum 2017 is the 5th National Conference of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, an initiative of the Irish Hospice Foundation. The theme of the one day conference is “Have Your Say: Your Life, Your Death, Your Say”. Prominent national and international speakers will speak on a range of issues on dying, death and bereavement, including the results of the extensive nationwide “Have Your Say” survey which was carried out at the end of 2016 with a view to creating a Charter for End of Life and Bereavement in Ireland. You will hear personal experiences and expert views.  You will have the opportunity to have your say and hear what others have to say too. Forum 2017 is open to interested members of the public as well as healthcare and allied healthcare professionals. Booking is now open online or you can download a booking form HERE     Advocacy - Have your Say Forum

Welcoming “Finite Lives” Report

Posted on: May 19th, 2017

The Irish Hospice Foundation welcomes the newly published report Finite Lives which examines State Services around dying, death and bereavement.

         
  Angela Edghill, Irish Hospice Foundation, Advocacy and Public Engagement Manager said the ground breaking report is the first of its kind and proves that dying is everyone’s business. Ms Edghill added: “It provides great evidence for a more coordinated and strategic approach to dying, death and bereavement by all of the agencies and Departments of State. Only good can come of this report since the issues it examines affect us all, without exception - but only if the State acts on Senator O'Donnell's sensible, practical and reasonable recommendations.”
 
The report makes 16 key recommendations including the promotion of the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Think Ahead planning tool. The purpose of the Think Ahead document is to guide members of the public in discussing and recording their preferences in the event of emergency, serious illness or death.
Further information is available on www.thinkahead.ie Finite Lives by Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell was launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny this afternoon (Wednesday, 17 May) at Government Buildings.  

The report is available here for download.

 

C’mon the Camino with Katherine Lynch

Posted on: April 18th, 2017

From Dancing Shoes to Hiking Boots

Make every step count for hospice care this September by walking the Camino de Santiago with actress Katherine Lynch in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF). The Leitrim-native will walk the scenic coasts of Portugal and northern Spain to support hospice care and IHF programmes such as Nurses for Night Care and Hospice Friendly Hospital Programme (HFH). Katherine's idonate link if you wish to support is here. The IHF event takes place from September 24th to 1st October taking in beaches, rolling hills and gentle, flat paths with walking distances of approximately 20km daily. This section of the Camino is located in the region of Galicia – a region also known as the ‘Ireland of Spain’.  
Helen McVeigh, IHF Director of Fundraising, commented: “By stepping out on the Camino you are embarking on a personal challenge but also supporting people nationwide who are facing death or bereavement. Our vision is for no one to face these difficult times without the care and support they need. This is your chance to make every step matter.
Katherine is an amazing ambassador and we’re delighted to have such a high profile personality leading the way. Nurses for Night Care service provided 2,027 nights of care in 2016 and helped 600 families. 48 hospitals have been involved in our HFH programme since it was founded 10 years ago.”

Flights, accommodation and full board are included and full details can be found here or by calling 01 6793188.

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Amazing holiday awaits… get involved in our Summer Raffle and support Nurses for Night Care Service

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017

Compassion in Hospitals – HSE consolidates the Hospice Friendly Hospital Programme

Posted on: March 23rd, 2017

A new group to copper-fasten the Hospice Friendly Hospital Programme in all adult, child and maternity hospitals across the country has been launched.

The Health Service Executive and Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has announced the new Joint Oversight Group of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme today (Thursday, 23 March). Marie Lynch, IHF Head of Healthcare Programmes said: “An average 30,000 deaths occur in Ireland every year. Approximately 48 per cent of those people will die in an acute hospital. “The Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme is an initiative of the IHF to ensure that end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care is central to the everyday business of hospitals, and the best possible care is  available to people at end-of life and their loved ones at this difficult time.”
The Hospital Friendly Hospitals Programme has been adopted by 48 hospitals nationwide since it was established in 2007 to improve the standard of end-of-life care in Irish hospitals. The new Joint Oversight Group is being formed to further support the embedding of the Hospice Friendly Hospital Programme within HSE structures. It will also examine ways to expand and develop the programme across the hospital system where possible.
Dr Ciarán Browne, HSE Acute Hospital Division said: “We are very pleased to continue and extend our close working relationship with the Irish Hospice Foundation on the Hospice Friendly Hospital Programme. We recognise the importance of this work to patients, their families and staff. The HFH Programme supports our goal of creating a caring and compassionate environment across our hospital system.” Margaret McKiernan, Marie Lynch, Dr Ciaran Browne The new group is chaired by Professor Cillian Twomey. It includes experts from clinical programmes in palliative care, older persons, emergency department and paediatric care and will meet three times a year. The HFH programme co-ordinates three networks for hospital staff to promote improvements in end-of-life care from the perspective of patients, families and hospital staff; the Acute Hospital Network, Maternity/Children’s Network and The End-of-Life Co-Ordinator Network. The programme advocates for investment in palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care services at the hospital, hospital group and national levels. It develops and promotes the use of ceremonial resources such as the end of life symbol, family handover bags, drapes and ward altars. It also develops promotional and educational supports for all hospital staff. It co-ordinates the Design and Dignity Project which aims to transform the way hospital spaces are designed for people at end-of life. It provides expert advice and guidance directly to hospital staff to support the implementation of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme in their hospitals. Caption: Margaret McKiernan, Chairperson HFH Acute Hospital Network with Marie Lynch, Head of Health Care Programmes, Irish Hospice Foundation and Dr Ciaran Browne, National Lead, HSE Acute Hospital Division pictured at the announcement of new Joint Oversight Group of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme HFH Hub

RTE Feature Special Report on IHF Cycle

Posted on: March 20th, 2017

RTE's Claire Byrne Live did a recent special feature on our charity cycle from Porto to Lisbon in June.

Father and daughter Paul and Evelyn Kimmage, who are partaking in our cycle, speak about why everyone should be supporting end-of-life care. "It could be your loved one or it could be you."

You can donate here.