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Archive for June, 2014

‘Way to go’ documentary asks how well we cope with death

Posted on: June 30th, 2014

A new documentary 'Way to go; death and the Irish' to be broadcast on RTE 1 at 9.35pm on Tuesday July 1st will examine how well we deal with death. 

 The documentary is presented by Norah Casey, Norah's husband Richard died in 2011. It features interviews with well known personalities, healthcare professionals and members of the public who reflect on their personal experiences of bereavement and on attitudes to death and dying.   

Information And  Support  

If you have been bereaved or you have been affected by any of the issues addressed in the programme below are links to advice and support information.

You can also call us on (01) 6793188  if you would like to talk to someone. 



IHF calls on Government to restore funding to neurological groups “as a matter of urgency”

Posted on: June 28th, 2014


The Irish Hospice Foundation, (IHF), today called on the Government to reverse “as a matter of urgency” the decision to cut funding totally €1.5 million to eleven neurological organisations.


The groups have been refused funding under the Department of the Environment’s Scheme managed by Pobal, a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. The decision will severely curtail services for people with a variety of neurological conditions including motor neurone disease, stroke, dementia, MS, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease.


According to chief executive officer of the IHF this funding enabled neurological patient organisations to provide critical services such as counselling, advice and emergency equipment. 


The National Neurological Alliance of Ireland, (NAI), which represents 31 organisations and 700,000 people with neurological conditions, says it now faces having to cease operations after losing its core funding.


The IHF has worked with the NAI over the past year to create recognition and awareness of the palliative care needs of the people with advancing life limiting neurological conditions.


Sharon Foley said: “We welcome the Taoiseach’s encouraging statement that the charities can appeal the decision and we hope the appeal process takes into account the Governments policy encouraging need for patient voice, patient autonomy and control.


“But it is vital that this funding is restored as a matter of urgency. This situation must be resolved to ensure that the voice of people who are most vulnerable and often not able to speak on their own behalf is not silenced. “



New report from ombudsman highlights end-of-life care

Posted on: June 27th, 2014

A 'good death' in Ireland  

A new report released today (June 27th) by the office of the ombudsman examines the care given to patients and families at end-of-life. 

A good death - Office of Ombudsman report June 2014

 'A good death; A Reflection on Ombudsman Complaints about End of Life Care in Irish Hospitals'  reviews complaints made to the office in 2013.


The report acknowledges the long lasting effects of poor communication, lack of patient autonomy and dignity in end-of-life care. As the impact of these failures on bereaved family is traumatic and long lasting, it highlights the need to learn from complaints received. 


The ombudsman highlights the work of the Irish Hospice Foundation and the Forum on end-of-life in promoting national dialogue and encouraging end-of-life care planning. 

The full report can be accessed HERE and is available on the Office of the Ombudsman website.            

Roscommon Hospital joins HFH Programme to improve care for dying patients

Posted on: June 18th, 2014
Helen Ely, CNS Palliative Care, Elaine Prendergast, General Manager Roscommon Hospital, Dr Dympna Waldron, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Mary Lovegrove Hospice Friendly Hospitals, Dr Eileen Mannion, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Geraldine Keane, CNS Palliative Care, Maura Loftus, Director of Nursing Roscommon Hospital.

Helen Ely, CNS Palliative Care, Elaine Prendergast, General Manager Roscommon Hospital, Dr Dympna Waldron, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Mary Lovegrove Hospice Friendly Hospitals, Dr Eileen Mannion, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Geraldine Keane, CNS Palliative Care, Maura Loftus, Director of Nursing Roscommon Hospital.



Roscommon Hospital has become the latest hospital in Ireland to sign up to the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme which is aimed at ensuring patients die with dignity and respect.


To date 40 hospitals nationwide have joined the Irish Hospice Foundation’s award-winning initiative which promotes the best possible end of life for patients. The initiative is done in partnership with the Health Service Executive


Other hospitals in the West / North West Hospitals Group involved in the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme include Portiuncula Hospital, Galway University Hospitals, Letterkenny General Hospital, Sligo Regional Hospital and Mayo General Hospital.


Launching the Hospice Friendly Hospital Programme in Roscommon Hospital today the hospital General Manager, Elaine Prendergast, said the initiative will support frontline staff who are delivering end-of-life care in sometimes very challenging conditions.


Speaking at the launch, Ms Prendergast said: “We are delighted to sign up to the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme. Our intention is to raise awareness of the work which has been undertaken at the hospital around end-of-life care and the importance of dignity and respect for patients and their families at this difficult stage of life.”


The Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme, which was launched in 2011, involves:

  • Refurbishing family rooms, mortuaries and bereavement suites to enhance the physical environment of hospitals
  • Training all staff in end-of-life care via monthly training sessions
  • Using practical resources such as special family handover bags to return the belongings of a loved one who has died, a specially designed ward altar and trolley drape
  • Placing a specially designed end of life symbol on the wards which alert people that a person is dying or has died     
  • Implementing a protocol to ensure that a sympathy card is sent out to families after a loved one has died in the hospital


Mary Lovegrove, Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme Manager said: “We are striving to ensure the best possible care for a patient when they are reaching the end of their life’s journey, so they die with dignity and respect. This is often not easy in a busy acute hospital with all its hustle and bustle, but staff have shown tremendous interest and families have also appreciated the improvements which have been made.” 


She added: “Most of us believe an acute hospital is where people with various complaints go to get better, while a hospice is a place where people go to die. Most of us would prefer to die in our own homes but the reality in Ireland is that most people die in some form of hospital, and 43% of us will die in an acute hospital. The challenge facing the acute hospital system is how to train and assist all staff to provide a quality service for all patients at the end of life and also to help their families to cope.”


Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, commented: “The simple aim of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme is to embed hospice principles into hospital practice.  We are delighted at the positive reaction of hospital staff in Roscommon to the various initiatives that have been introduced.  We hope that patients and families will feel the benefit of the training and education when it matters most to them.”   


Posted on: June 17th, 2014







A huge THANK YOU to everyone for supporting our Summer Raffle which was a huge success.

All funds raised go towards our Changing Minds programme, which promotes excellence in end of life care for people living with dementia.

The prize-winners are:

  • 1st prize (€2,500); Mrs C Kane, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
  • 2nd prize (€1,000); Mrs M McHugh, Dublin 7
  • 3rd prize (€500); Ms A O’Connor, Galway City

Seller’s prize: Ms M Mullally, Blessington, Co Wicklow

Congrats to all!


Posted on: June 11th, 2014

Donating to the Irish Hospice Foundation has been made easy. You can now support our work by sending a text. It couldn’t be simpler!

Every euro counts.


 Text IHF to 50300 to donate €4


100% of text cost goes to The Irish Hospice Foundation across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €3.26 will go to The Irish Hospice Foundation. Service Provider LIKECHARITY 014433890




Sunflower Days 6-7th June – Support your local hospice

Posted on: June 6th, 2014

The National Hospice Sunflower Days collection for local hospice services takes place this weekend - Friday, 6th June and Saturday, 7th June


People will be able to support their local hospice service by purchasing various pieces of Sunflower merchandise including sunflower pins or sunflower seeds for €2 each from collectors on the streets of cities, towns and villages across Ireland.

Hospice Sunflower Days is a major source of income for hospices and voluntary hospice groups countrywide. The IHF coordinates the event on behalf of the hospice movement but all of the funds raised locally, stay locally.

So keep an eye out for Sunflower collectors around the county today and tomorrow, and please give as generously as you can!

For more information on Sunflower Days please visit www.sunflowerdays.ie



Posted on: June 5th, 2014