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About Palliative Care For All

Palliative care for all indicates that palliative care  is relevant and applicable to all life-limiting illness but has not traditionally been associated with diseases other than cancer.

The need for palliative care to be extended to people with diseases such as  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Heart Failure and Dementia is increasingly acknowledged. However, there has been an overall lack of direction when it comes to providing palliative care within existing disease management frameworks for people with these and other life limiting illnesses.

The Irish Hospice Foundation's Palliative Care for All Programme provides support, direction and guidance to those working with patients to incorporate palliative care principles in care.

Background to Palliative Care for All

Palliative Care for all report The Palliative Care for All programme emerged from a joint study, Extending Access, completed by the IHF and the HSE in 2008. With an initial emphasis on dementia, COPD and heart failure, it examined the palliative care needs of people with life-limiting illnesses other than cancer to identify how palliative care could be applied to these patient groups in Ireland. Download the full report (2008) HERE or the shorter 'Palliative Care For All - Key Messages (PDF booklet).      

Action research & other initiatives

The Palliative Care for All report highlighted that palliative care principles need to be embedded within ALL disease frameworks.  The following initiatives have taken place or are under way:
  • Exploratory work with patient advocacy and voluntary groups such as the  Alzheimer Society of Ireland  on ways to introduce palliative care principles for constituents.
  • A paper by the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland and Irish Hospice Foundation on end-of-life care for CF patients - available here 
  • IHF''s Nurses for Night Care service which is available for people with diseases other than cancer who wish to die at home.  IHF provides funding to the Irish Cancer Society to extend its night nursing service to patients with other life-limiting conditions
  • Initiation of discussion on the palliative care needs of  vulnerable sections of society, such as those with learning difficulties, mental health issues and the homeless


Nurses for Night Care

"By the end we were exhausted. They came in and for the last six nights before she died we could take a full nights sleep and we knew that she was fine" The Irish Hospice Foundation funds a 'nurses for night care service' for people dying with diseases other than cancer .  This service provides […] Read more >

Heart Failure

Role of palliative care in the management of heart failure Approximately 10,000 people in Ireland die from cardiovascular disease every year. Fatigue, breathlessness, depression and pain are common symptoms of heart failure. Studies show the burden of these symptoms is similar to that experienced by cancer patients yet these symptoms are not routinely identified or fully […] Read more >

Advanced Respiratory Disease

Role of palliative care in the management of advanced respiratory disease People with advanced respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis can experience a range of symptoms causing discomfort and distress.  Symptoms include shortness of breath, pain, physical discomfort, fatigue, anxiety and spiritual distress. While medical therapies are […] Read more >

Advancing Neurological Illness

The Irish Hospice Foundation and the Neurological Alliance of Ireland completed a project looking at the palliative care needs of people with advancing neurological conditions from the perspective of Neurological Alliance of Ireland member organisations. The report and key messages from this work is available by clicking on the first 2 pictures below. In November 2014 […] Read more >

Palliative care for other diseases and groups

Emerging areas Addressing the health and palliative care needs of other non malignant diseases and of vulnerable sections of society can be challenging. Patients with non malignant diseases like end stage kidney disease or other chronic conditions or people with mental health issues, learning difficulties and the homeless  are groups that particularly could benefit from […] Read more >

Conference 2012 Bridging the Gap

The first national conference organised under our Palliative Care for All programme took place on Friday 14th September 2012 in the Royal College of Physicians (RCPI) Dublin. The programme covered plenary sessions addressing the international perspectives and findings from the Irish Hospice Foundation palliative care action research projects in Heart Failure and Respiratory Disease. In […] Read more >

Palliative care for all – next steps

Next Steps for the Palliative Care for All Programme were announced at the 'Palliative care for all, bridging the gap for all those with life limiting diseases' conference on September 14th 2012.    Commitment to 'Palliative care for all'  As part of our Strategic Plan 2016 –2019 we have committed further resources to the Palliative Care for […] Read more >

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