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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      

Our Summer Raffle 2017 winners announced!

Posted on: July 3rd, 2017

We are delighted to announce winners of our Summer Raffle 2017 draw that took place last Friday, 30th June in our offices:

 
  • 1st Prize – Fly Cruise Holiday for 2 with MSC Cruises sponsored by Click & Go:

    Karen Allen, Dublin 14
  • 2nd Prize – 5* European City Break for 2 sponsored by Click & Go:

    Angie Pardue, Dublin 22
  • 3rd Prize – Weekend Break at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin  sponsored by The Intercontinental:

    Becky Cahill, Co Cavan
  • Sellers Prize - €500 M&S Voucher sponsored by Marks & Spencer:

    John Fitzgibbon, Lusk Co Dublin
 

Congratulations to all lucky winners an huge thanks for all our wonderful supporters who got involved in selling Raffle tickets on our behalf and all the generous public who bought them. Your support will help us fund our Nurses for Night Care Service for which demand is growing every year. Thank you!

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Garda David Irwin pulling the winning ticket in IHF Summer Raffle Draw on Friday 30th June 2017.

Irish end-of-life “handover bag” inspires Australian care

Posted on: June 26th, 2017

Pioneering Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme now ten years old

The ground-breaking hospital “handover bag” initiative is being copied in Australia to improve care provided to patients at end of life and their bereaved families and friends.   The handover bag concept was first introduced in Irish hospitals as part of the Irish Hospice Foundation’s pioneering Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme (HFH) which is marking its tenth anniversary this year.  

A high quality bag should be used

 
Marie Lynch, Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) Head of Healthcare Programmes said:  “The principle of the family handover bag is to promote a dignified and sensitive way of returning the deceased patient’s personal belongings to the family. A high quality bag should be used in place of a plastic bag. 
  “It’s one of the initiatives introduced by HFH in Irish hospitals over the past decade in partnership with the HSE to bring hospice principles into hospital settings. “Since its inception in 2007 the Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme has grown tremendously and this is down to individuals across Ireland who have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and improve the quality of end-of-life care.   “The HFH programme has continued to innovate throughout this time and lead end-of-life care not only in Ireland but internationally.”   The specially designed handover bags carry the end-of-life symbol which was introduced to hospital settings as part of the HFH programme.  

Inspiring Australian Care

Healthcare professionals in Queensland, Australia have now followed Ireland’s lead and developed their own end-of-life symbol and handover bag. Wendy Pearse from Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service’s (SCHHS) End –of-Life Care Committee said she learned about HFH on social media. Ms Pearse said hospitals can do better “than plastic bags” when returning patient possessions to bereaved relatives and friends.
After being inspired by the Irish programme we developed an Australian take on handover bags and a few other resources. The aim of the handover bags is to convey to the family and staff that whilst the person was a patient with us, we cared for them and respected them. “We will treat their belongings with the same care and dignity that we showed to the person who died.”

Social worker Nola Powell and project officer Wendy Pearse with the handover bags, card and booklet.

Tenth anniversary of the HFH programme

HfH was introduced to bring hospice principles into hospital settings. An average 30,000 deaths occur in Ireland every year. Approximately 48 per cent of those people will die in an acute hospital. The tenth anniversary of the HFH programme was marked today at an HFH Acute Hospital Network meeting in Cork, (Tuesday, May 23). Leaders in end-of-life care from more than 40 hospitals linked to the HFH are members of this network which meets on a regular basis throughout the year.  
Dr Eileen Mannion, consultant in palliative care at Galway University Hospital, Roscommon University Hospital and Galway Hospice Foundation said:  “Since its inception in 2007 the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme has shone a spotlight on end of life care in the acute hospital setting. Through its ongoing commitment to education and research in this area it strives to ensure the highest quality of care for patients and their families at the end of life.”
  Marie Lynch said:  “The Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme continues to grow across Ireland – there are now 47 hospitals involved, 20 hospitals have access to end-of-life care coordinators and all are implementing the National Standards for End-of-Life care which were developed by the IHF and the HSE in 2010.”   The Health Service Executive and Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) announced a Joint Oversight Group of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme earlier this year. It was formed to further embed the Hospice Friendly Hospital Programme within HSE structures. It is also examining 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.”       Photo: Mary Casey, Clinical Nurse Manager, St. James’s Hospital with Irish end-of-life bag             Caption: Mary Casey, Clinical Nurse Manager St. James’s Hospital with Irish end-of-life bag  

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

The 2nd Dublin Choral Festival

Posted on: June 6th, 2017

Extraordinary concert at Christ Church Cathedral in aid of The Irish Hospice Foundation

You are invited to attend a very special concert that will take place on Saturday 8th July at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.  The concert will take place at 8pm and involved over 200 performers!! The Dublin Choral Festival returns for a second year and this year the concert will be given in aid of The Irish Hospice Foundation.   A chorus of 180 American singers, a traditional Celtic band of internationally renowned musicians,  and Dublin’s very own Kaleidoscope Ensemble will perform a rich and varied programme of Celtic, American and European music.  The impressive line-up is completed with mezzo- soprano Aine Mulvey  and Ciarán Kelly, a member of the ‘Five Irish Tenors’ who recently returned from a very successful tour to the United States.  

The theme for the concert is ‘The Celtic Journey, celebrating the Celtic Spirit in its Land, Faith, Music, Life and Hope’.

 

Land - features excerpts from composer John Cameron’s Missa Celtica, which begins with the haunting sounds of the Uilleann Pipes and involves harp, tin whistle, Bodhran and fiddle together with mezzo- soprano and lyric tenor.   John is probably best known for composing the orchestral score of Les Miserables and more recently ‘Zorro, the Musical together with the Gypsy Kings.

Faith - Music of the Great Cathedrals

Magnificat in Bb and Beati Quorum Via - Stanford   

I Was Glad - Parry

Music - The New Voice   - featuring two works by Norwegian composer Gjeilo

 The Ground from Sunrise Mass

 The Lake Isle with piano, guitar and strings and using text from Yeats

 

Life - The New World

 Unclouded Day - Shawn Kirchner

Homeward Bound - trad. Arr. by Mack Wilberg,

Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning - Shawn Kirchner

 Hope - Joy Everlasting  

Hear My Prayer - Hogan

In that Great Getting’ Up Morning- Traditional

 

ADMISSION TO THE EVENT IS 10 EURO AND 8 EUROS FOR CONCESSIONS. ALL FUNDS RAISED GO TO THE IRISH HOSPICE FOUNDATION.

To BOOK Tickets  Visit www.ChristChurchTickets.com for event details and to purchase your tickets. Book early to avoid disappointment!
For further information:  Micheline Egan – (087) 2508 340 Email – Micheline.egan1@gmail.com  
Face book: 2ndDublinChoralFestival2017     Instagram: @DublinChoralFestival2017     Twitter: @ChorDub
 

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.