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Irish Hospice Foundation/HSE announce third round of Design & Dignity grants 

Posted on: April 25th, 2016
Following the tremendous success of the first two rounds of Design & Dignity Projects the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) and the HSE today announced a new fund for a third round of projects. Design & Dignity RESIZED  

Impact of surroundings

Recognising how deeply people are affected by their surroundings, the Design & Dignity Project has developed a range of ‘exemplar’ projects within public acute hospitals. To date, we have supported 20 projects around Ireland. Hospitals have created relaxing, spacious family rooms within busy acute wards, upgraded mortuaries into welcoming, respectful environments and redesigned viewing rooms in emergency departments and mortuaries. Feedback from families and staff has been overwhelmingly positive demonstrating that, with relatively small investments; a real difference can be made at traumatic times in people’s lives. More details on Design & Dignity can be found HERE  Hospitals around Ireland will benefit from our grant fund which will help transform older /dated spaces including family rooms, gardens and mortuaries.  The Design & Dignity grants scheme is operated and co-funded by the IHF and the HSE.  To date 20 projects have been funded across the country under the Design & Dignity scheme at a cost of €2m. Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, commented:
“Every year 28,000 people in Ireland die and 43% die in acute hospitals. The Design & Dignity scheme aims to bring design excellence to hospitals where so many people spend their last days.  New facilities are a sanctuary for families at a very distressing time, and allow them the proper space and privacy they need. We have already seen the grants improve facilities in 20 hospitals across the country and are delighted to announce more project funding for 2017.”
Guidance on the type of projects that will be considered for grants and an application form are attached. The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 16th of September 2016. Please submit 6 copies of the completed application form with supporting material to Pamela Withero, The Irish Hospice Foundation, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2.

Children’s Palliative Care: Building Bridges – Home, Hospital and Hospice Conference April 22 & 23

Posted on: April 25th, 2016

Every Year 350 children die from a life limiting illness

Dublin, 19 April 2016 -It’s estimated that tragically more than 3840 children in Ireland are currently living with a life-limiting condition and that on average 1,873 children currently have active palliative care requirements a major conference due to take place at Farmleigh will hear. Some 350 children die in Ireland each year from a life limiting condition.
No fee for repro - please credit Johnny Bambury - Paul Sherwood Photography Irish Hospice Foundation, Childrens Palliative Care Conference, held at Farmleigh, Dublin. April 2016

Childrens Palliative Care Conference, held at Farmleigh, Dublin. April 2016

Provision of Palliative Care

Inconsistencies in the healthcare system is sometimes a factor in encouraging parents of children with life limiting illnesses to make a choice for palliative care provision in the home or other setting. European Association of Palliative Care Chief Executive, Dr Julie Ling will make the claim when she addresses the Children’s Palliative Care: Building Bridges – Home, Hospital and Hospice Conference which begins in Farmleigh this Friday. Dr Ling said:
“There are many factors that influence parents’ choices and preferences for respite in the home environment.  These include a mistrust of the healthcare system, often based on previous experiences, a desire for their child to be cared for at home and remain part of the family, and  issues with travel and transport to get to out of home respite.  “However whilst respite care at home is seen as the preference of most parents there are also many factors which make this challenging and these will be discussed.”
Leading health economist Professor Charles Normand-Edward Kennedy Professor of Health Policy at Trinity College Dublin will argue that it can make economic sense for palliative care for children to be provided in the child’s own home. “Studies have shown that care in hospital tends to be much more expensive for these children and in most cases is less suitable. “Shifting the balance towards support for people to remain at home achieves more at lower cost. It is hard to argue for doing less for more,” Professor Normand said. Professor Normand said:
“Research has also shown that families who are supported to keep the child at home get what they want or need, although some families would put more emphasis on some rehabilitation support. Successful models of care use expert nurses to help design and broken packages of support, tailored to the needs of each child and family.

Experts in Children's Palliative Care

International expert in children’s palliative care, Professor Stephen Liben, Director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Paediatric Care Programme since 1995 will discuss the benefits of Paediatric Palliative Care - that it is not just end-of-life care, will discuss how we bridge between different medical teams and different units (eg obstetric, maternity, paeds, outpatients, community sector) and will share his personal work experiences from the Canadian Health Care system.   Other eminent speakers include Dr. Mary King, Department of Paediatrics, University College Dublin, Mr. Michael Mc Dermott, Consultant Paediatric Pathologist and Dr. Michael Capra, Consultant Paediatric Oncology at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin Dublin.

One Mother's Story

Mother of four Tina Priestly from Naas, Co Kildare will detail her own experience of palliative care for children. Her youngest son Bobby was born in 2008 with the chromosomal disorder Tetrasomy 9P. He passed away at home aged thirteen months. During his short life the family received welcome support from the Jack & Jill Foundation and various partners working in children’s palliative care. Ireland’s only Consultant Paediatrician with a special interest in Palliative Medicine, Dr Mary Devins are among almost 30 experts scheduled to present at the conference. Dr. Devins will outline the the practical changes and challenges since she was appointed 5 years ago. Dr Devins will discuss the increase in referral rates and complexities of children that she and her team now care for. Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Emily Logan will make the opening address.

New Research findings

The spiritual impact of a life-limiting diagnosis given to parents during pregnancy will be revealed by Dr Daniel Nuzum – Healthcare Chaplain at Cork University Maternity Hospital - who carried out research on the topic. His study revealed that the death of a baby challenged the spiritual believes of expectant parents and “raised deep existential questions” as they commenced a perinatal palliative care journey. “Parents felt that their spiritual needs were not adequately met during pregnancy and this study highlights the need to identify and attend to the spiritual needs of parents in perinatal palliative care,” Dr Nuzum said. Additionally, the need to recruit and retain an educated and skilled workforce in the specialty of children palliative care nursing will also be explored by Ms. Claire Quinn, Head of Research at LauraLynn Children’s Hospice and Lecturer for the Children’s Palliative /Complex Care MSc programme at NUI Galway/UCD. This second conference is a celebration of the progress over the last 10 years but with a lot more to do. The Conference is an exciting collaboration between the Irish Hospital Foundation, The Irish Association for Palliative Care, LauraLynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, HSE, NUI Galway, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, the Mercy Hospital Fundraising and Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation.

Compassionate Care at end of life in Hospitals #HFH2016 Conference April 27th

Posted on: April 25th, 2016

Compassionate Care at end of life – leading by example

Making a big difference to the end-of-life care of patients in hospitals across Ireland will be the focus of a one day Hospice Friendly Hospitals Conference in Limerick on Wednesday 27 April. It marks the first time in Ireland that projects which are making a difference to the care of dying in Irish acute, maternity and children’s hospitals will be presented at a conference. HFH_Logo_Colour#HFH2016

Compassion in developing palliative care in hospitals

HSE Interim National Director of Acute Services, Liam Woods said:
Whilst we continually strive toward the delivery of excellence and quality of care systems, we cannot forget that the primary goal of all systems is to value the human being we are treatingOne of our direct expressions of the value of compassionate caring is our commitment to further developing palliative and end of life care in our hospitals.

Keynote Speaker Professor Bee Wee shares Uk framework

The NHS’s National Clinical Director for End of Life Care, Professor Bee Wee, the key note speaker at the event, will share the UK framework on how to compassionately make a difference to people’s final days. Professor Bee said: “We all want kind, compassionate, skilled and competent care when we are in hospital, even more so when we are feeling vulnerable because we are facing the fact that we are going to die within a few days, weeks or months. She added:
The new Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care for England demonstrates how everybody can contribute to this – clinicians and other staff, volunteers, hospice and hospital managers, and individuals and groups within the wider community – and how each is needed and, at the same time, how each individual and organisation needs to recognise and appreciate others’ role and contribution.”
More than 200 health professionals from doctors, nurses, social workers are registered to attend the one day conference in the Strand Hotel, Limerick. The event is organised by the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Hospital Friendly Hospitals Programme in partnership with the HSE and the University Limerick Hospital Group. CEO of the UL Hospital Group, Colette Cowan said she looks forward to working with the support and guidance of the IHF to further develop palliative and end of life care. University Hospital Limerick joined the Hospital Friendly Hospice Programme in 2008. She said the hospital group which includes Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s Hospitals has made great strides in improving the end of life experience for patients and their families since then. She said the new emergency department which will open at the Limerick Hospital in 2017 will contain “a serenity suite for patients and their families which will be used for patients in the emergency department who have died or are dying.”

Improving hospital care for people facing death

Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley said more than 40 acute, maternity and children’s hospitals throughout Ireland are now engaged with the Hospice Friendly Hospice Programme.
The HFH Programme seeks to ensure that end of life palliative and bereavement is central to the everyday business of hospitals and we are pleased to see the leadership and investment from the HSE is support this work. The Irish Hospice Foundation is also heartened to see the recent progress that hospitals have made which have yielded improvements in care for people who are facing death, their families as well as providing support to staff and making much needed changes to the physical environment,” she said.

International speakers and delegates

Delegates already confirmed are travelling from the UK, Spain and Singapore to attend. Dr Shaun O’Keefe who is chair of the HSE’s Working Group on Implementing the National Policy on DNAR (do-not-attempt resuscitation) will discuss the challenges in implementing this policy as well as the potential impact of forthcoming legislation on advance healthcare directives at the event. Decision making in the ICU and the perspective of bereaved relatives all play a vital role in compassionate care in hospitals. Speakers also include Dr Patrick Neligan, Medical Director Critical Care, Galway University Hospitals, and Bettina Korn and Diarmuid Ó Coimin, End of Life Coordinators from St James Hospital and Mater Hospital, Dublin. Dr Eoin Tiernan, Palliative Medicine Consultant, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, will discuss the impact of early palliative care involvement in the emergency department from the PAL.M.E.D Project.

Compassionate care is what we all want at the end of our lives

The programme includes three parallel afternoon sessions, one explores the challenges and obstacles to successful communication at end of life and will examine how comfort and confidence may be influenced by health professionals’ preparedness to discuss their own death and end-of-life care. The second session will discuss hospital transformation renovation projects (mortuaries, bereavement suites, viewing rooms) funded by the Design & Dignity Programme – this is a partnership programme between the Irish Hospice Foundation and HSE. Working in the context of death, dying and bereavement impacts on care professionals so the third session looks at practical resilience strategies and initiatives to support them deliver the compassionate care they aspire to. IHF Head of Healthcare Programmes, Ms Marie Lynch said, “Compassionate care is what we all want at the end of our lives, this conference allows the opportunity to showcase hospital projects and research to inspire the health professionals and to accelerate the pace of improvement”  The conference is open to healthcare professionals only. CPD accreditation is available.

More information >>>

Follow your Camino with The Irish Hospice Foundation!

Posted on: April 15th, 2016

Never Forgotten – Nana

Posted on: April 7th, 2016
For Nana, grandma of Maja Jovanovic

Remembering Dr Mary Redmond

Posted on: April 4th, 2016
Mary Redmond-001 This week we remember our late founder, Dr Mary Redmond, on the first anniversary of her death. Dr Redmond, was inspired to establish the foundation following the death of her father at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross in 1985. At the time there was only one hospice in Dublin and she felt strongly that hospice care should be available for all who needed it. She launched herself into fundraising to support the hospice, saying in a letter at the time that until her father’s illness she had never encountered the difficulties faced by families in such circumstances. Her efforts led to formation of The Irish Hospice Foundation in April 1986 - 30 years ago this month. A truly remarkable lady, we are inspired by her vision as we continue to strive for the best care at end of life for all. Sharon Foley CEO 6 April 2016

Public consultation on dementia guidance documents

Posted on: April 4th, 2016
As part of The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Changing Minds Programme, a suite of guidance documents to support healthcare staff working with people with dementia from all care settings, in addressing specific aspects of dementia palliative care, is under development. We are delighted to announce that the final two guidance documents are now ready for public consultation. These are: 1. Advance Care Planning and Advance Healthcare Directives with a person with dementia 2. Loss and Grief in Dementia. Each guidance document is accompanied by a factsheet. If you would like to give us feedback on the documents, please click on the icons under each heading to download each guidance document, the accompanying factsheet and the consultation form. See full details here This consultation will close on Wednesday 20th April 2016 at 5pm.

Can you help a family with a seriously ill child?

Posted on: April 4th, 2016
Baby Darragh stars “The diagnosis was one of the hardest days of my life. We were totally and utterly in love with our little boy and felt absolutely heartbroken to learn that his quality of life may be poor.” These are the words of Lucy, on discovering her first baby Darragh was very ill at birth. When a child is sick, as a parent, you would do anything to make them feel better. You would swap places with them in an instant to shield them from any suffering. If your child was seriously ill, wouldn’t you want them to be cared for at home? Snuggled up in their favourite blanket, cherished teddy bears beside them, and most importantly loving family around them at all times. Lucy and her family have endured the tragic death of two children, Darragh at 6 months and also her fourth child Ronan, both of whom had a condition called Lissencephaly. Her experience of caring for her two boys was very different – the first time around she struggled with a lack of support. The second time, she had a rock of support in a Children’s Outreach Nurse. Lucy said, “From the moment we met her, she was so helpful. She built me up and gave me the confidence to be able to care for my son when I felt ready to fold. “I have no doubt that Hilary went above and beyond any job description on this planet. She came into our family at a time when she was so badly needed, and we feel extremely lucky to have had her involved in Ronan’s life. I can never repay to her what she has done for us.” There are over 3,800 children in Ireland with life limiting conditions. These are incurable illnesses that need lot of care. Around 350 of these children die each year. Their little lives cut short long before their time. Your donation can help make a difference by enabling families to bring their dearly loved children home to make the most of their precious time together. This is where our Care for Children Campaign comes in. The Irish Hospice Foundation is your national charity working in the area of dying, death and bereavement. With the help of generous supporters like you we established this programme which includes a team of Children’s Outreach Nurses and Ireland’s only Paediatric Consultant with a special interest in Palliative Care. We funded 85% of the start-up cost of this programme and are delighted that the HSE is gradually funding the service. Right now, a team of Children’s Outreach Nurses are playing an important role in helping families around the country to care for their seriously ill children at home. They are advised and supported by the Paediatric Consultant who specialises in palliative care. But further developments are needed. With your help, we want to do more. Starting with funding a second Paediatric Consultant in Temple Street Hospital and building a fund so that more families can be reached by Children’s Outreach Nurses. If you want to support more families like Lucy’s you can donate now by selecting our Easter Appeal here Thank you.