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Posted on: June 12th, 2019

Residents and staff at Moate Nursing Home officially launched their end-of-life care vision.

The project is a central part of their work with CEOL (Compassionate End of Life), a programme run by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF).  CEOL is a quality improvement programme for residential care centres (RCCs) and nursing homes across Ireland. It enables staff to deliver compassionate, person-centred end-of-life care to residents, their family members and staff. CEOL provides a framework for staff to review, reflect on and enhance the end-of-life and bereavement care they provide.

Moate, which is part of Mowlam Healthcare, began working on CEOL in April 2018 when they participated in the first of three programme workshops. It was evident from the beginning there was a very person-centred approach to care in Moate Nursing Home and CEOL presented an opportunity for staff to develop this further with an even more focussed approach to end-of-life care. 

Director of Nursing, Kay Kennedy was instrumental in ensuring CEOL was delivered in the Westmeath nursing home along with Moate CEOL coordinators Jaya Ninan and Caroline Sheehan. The entire Moate CEOL Group was keen, from the start, that the residents would be included in developing the end-of-life care vision. 

Jaya Ninan is the Clinical Nurse Manager in Moate: “We are very proud to be part of the national CEOL programme. Our CEOL group consists of a group of multi-disciplinary staff members. While we already had good end-of-life care practices in the nursing home supported by various policies and procedures, our participation in the programme has empowered us to further develop our skills to enhance our end-of life care. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Kay Kennedy and Mowlam management for being so supportive in implementing the programme. Also, I would like to express sincere gratitude to all the staff of Moate Nursing Home, the residents and relatives for being part of this journey of change.”

Kate Steele, CEOL National Development Manager “I would like to wish all the residents and staff in Moate Nursing Home the very best of luck today. To see how they have welcomed and embraced the programme is truly inspirational. The incredible work being delivered through their CEOL Group and all the staff in Moate nursing home is not only having a real impact on the quality of end-of-life care, but on all care for their residents. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Moate Nursing Home on the CEOL Programme and we look forward to working together in the future through our regional CEOL Network meetings.”

Every year over 7,500 people in Ireland die in nursing homes and residential care centres.CEOL, launched in 2017, embeds a continuous quality improvement approach in individual nursing homes and is built around the needs of the individual, with the resident always at the heart of every decision.  Good end-of-life care is about being supported to live well until you die.  

For more information about CEOL, go here.


Posted on: May 16th, 2019

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) will host its first ever regional ‘Living with Loss’ event in Cork on Thursday 6 June, 6.30pm, in collaboration with local bereavement support services.

The free event for the public, which takes place at the Clayton Hotel in Cork City, will provide information about grief and the range supports available to bereaved people in the county.   

The event is for people bereaved through any circumstance – through illness or sudden death; who may have lost a partner, parent, child, friend or sibling. 

Former Cork hurler Dessie Fitzgerald will be the guest speaker on the evening. He will talk about the loss of his two brothers. Most recently, Dessie was invited to tell his story on the Late Late Show. 

The event will begin at 6.30pm and run until 9.30pm. Professionals who work in the area of bereavement will talk about the process of grief and the ways we can support each other. The talks will include information about the ways children grieve and how the adults in their lives can support them.  There are also opportunities for interaction and questions. 

Head of Education & Bereavement at the IHF is Orla Keegan: “Bereavement can be an isolating, lonely and confusing experience in a person’s life. The Irish Hospice Foundation has organised an annual Living with Loss event in Dublin over the past number of years. Year on year, hundreds of people have attended and the feedback has been very positive. During that time, we have  received a number of requests for similar events outside of Dublin.”

“This year, in collaboration with a number of bereavement support services in Cork, we are delighted to host our first Cork Living with Loss event. Our special thanks goes to Forde Funeral Homes who are kindly sponsoring the event.”

A number of local voluntary bereavement support services along with professional therapeutic services will be represented on the night. Refreshments will also be available and those attending will be able to visit the different organisation stands and find out more about the services they provide.

The event is free of charge and booking is not required. You can download the event flyer here

For more information about the venue please visit: www.claytonhotelcorkcity.com

Please contact Amanda at amanda.roberts@hospicefoundation.ie if you have any questions about the event.

Organisations confirmed to attend include: Anam Cara, Barnardos, Bethany Bereavement Support, CanTalk, Citizen Information Service, Coiscéim Counselling Programme, Cork Counselling Service, Cork North Community Work Department, Cork University Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Diocese of Cork & Ross, Embrace Farm, Féileacáin, FirstLight, Irish Hospice Foundation, Irish Road Victims Association, Marymount Hospice, Mercy Hospital, Pieta House, Suicide Prevention Resource Office, Support After Homicide and The Miscarriage Association.

Our special thanks goes to Forde Funeral Homes who are kindly sponsoring the event.

Final Putting The House In Order seminar coming up in Clare

Posted on: May 14th, 2019

The final seminar of County Clare’s innovative Putting the House in Order series takes place in Ennis next week.
The event, organised by the Clare Older People’s Council, takes place on Wednesday 12 June (11am-2pm) at the Buttermarket on Drumbiggle Road. It will deal head on with what you wish to happen at the end of life and includes two workshops. The first is an introductory information session covering wills, enduring power of attorney, and other legal issues delivered by local Clare solicitor Sharon Cahir.
The second workshop delivered by Rebecca Lloyd, Public Engagement Officer with the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), asks participants to ‘Think Ahead’ using the IHF’s popular Think Ahead form.
Five seminars have already been held in Ennis, Shannon, Kilrush, Ennistymon and Ogonnelloe since January with over 300 people attending. 
Rebecca says: “Planning for what happens after you die or when, for some reason, you are no longer in a position to make or describe your plans for the future is a very difficult subject to contemplate. You may not have thought about – because, mostly, here in Ireland, we don’t like to. Or, it’s something you may be thinking about a lot and do want to talk about. Either way, please join us in Ennis, there is no pressure to do or say anything – Sharon and I will try and give you as much information to help you and answer any of your questions
Patricia Anne Moore, one of the Clare Older People’s Council organisers:  “We have had very inspirational days in Ennis, Shannon, Kilrush, Ennistymon and Ogonnelloe with lots of sharing and advice for those present.  Through these seminars we want to enable participants to primarily receive good quality information about ‘putting their house in order’ and think about and discuss what would be important to them should they become ill, incapacitated or experience a medical emergency. It’s important for all of us to think about these things especially as we get older. It’s so you and those closest to you will know and understand what your wishes are. Many people enjoyed coming along and connecting with others – we are delighted with its success so far.”
The series is with thanks to financial support from the Community Foundation for Ireland, and in association with the Irish Hospice Foundation.
Admission is free but booking is essential. Phone 065 6846240 or email hmoloney@clarecoco.ie
*Please note this is primarily an information and planning session; it is not about bereavement or bereavement counselling.

Offaly Hospice Foundation’s €500k Donation “A major investment in the future development of Hospice Care in the Midlands

Posted on: May 8th, 2019

Irish Hospice Foundation Welcomes Offaly Hospice Foundation’s €500k Donation as a “A major investment in the future development of Hospice Care in the Midlands”

Offaly Hospice Foundation‘s announcement of a €500k ‘kick start’ for the building of a Level 3, Specialist Palliative Care (SPC) Inpatient Unit in the Midlands has been warmly welcomed as a progressive initiative and a major investment in the future development of Hospice Care in the Midlands by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF).

Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF commenting on last week’s announcement said ‘This is good news for the Midlands region which is one of the very few areas without a Level 3 SPC Inpatient Unit in Ireland.  The IHF has long invested in planning and advocacy for SPC services for the four Midland Counties to try to  increase development, investment and infrastructure in the region.  Most hospice services in Ireland, including the SPC Inpatient Units around the country, have come about as a partnership between voluntary hospice groups fundraising efforts and State investment in the services when built.  Offaly Hospice Foundation is to be commended for taking this vital step to progress the project.  It is our expectation that their €500k donation will attract other funds and funders and bring this long-held vision to realisation. Tullamore Lions Club is already engaged with Offaly Hospice Foundation and we hope that other local community and business organisations follow suit’.

The Midlands region is the one of the few remaining areas of the country without a Level 3 SPC Inpatient Unit.  The region is currently served by SPC Consultants and home care services and by Level 2 hospice beds in the community. A Level 3 SPC Inpatient Unit would support, develop and underpin the excellent and vital palliative care services already provided by the palliative care specialists, homecare teams and GPs in the area.  Those people in need of palliative and end-of-life care in the Midlands deserve access to the full range of services and care options already available to people in other parts of the country.   

National Lottery Good Causes

Posted on: May 3rd, 2019

We are delighted to have selected as National Lottery Good Causes Awards Health & Wellbeing County winners for 2019. We are so grateful for this recognition of our work and in particular, our Compassionate End of Life (CEOL) programme with residential care homes. This innovative programme has already reached over 100 settings and is making a real difference for residents, their families and staff. You can see more information about here https://hospicefoundation.ie/healthcare-programmes/ceol/

Statement from the Irish Hospice Foundation on Mortuaries in Ireland

Posted on: May 3rd, 2019

In light of the serious issues raised in relation University Hospital Waterford’s mortuary over the last week, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) welcomes the announcement that the project to replace it is being prioritised for capital funding.

Whilst Waterford and 44 other hospitals around the country are part of the IHF’s Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) programme and important progress has been made in the provision of end-of-life and bereavement care in recent years, we are conscious many mortuaries in Ireland were built over 50 years ago and some of these remain poorly presented for the requirements of today’s society. The prioritisation of their redevelopment will require timely and substantial support.

The creation of well-designed spaces for the appropriate and compassionate care of the deceased and their relatives is an essential part of modern hospital care. Our ‘Design & Dignity’ guidelines for mortuaries state that ‘A mortuary is a sanctuary and must convey a sense of reverence and respect for life, death and bereavement’. This is the standard all hospitals in Ireland should aspire to and it is our goal that all hospital mortuaries will be so developed over the coming years. In the last ten years, the Design & Dignity programme in association with HSE Estates has funded the renovation and renewal of eleven mortuaries across the country with the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise being the most recent funding recipient.

Design & Dignity forms just one part of our Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme seeks to ensure end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals. Waterford UH is part of the HFH programme and has made considerable progress in developing its facilities and services to HFH standards in recent years, not least in the creation of new palliative care services.

Since death, dying and bereavement happen every day, addressing the needs of people dying in acute hospitals and their family members as well as supporting staff in the challenges they face in providing quality end-of-life and bereavement care have to be prioritised. The Irish Hospice Foundation will continue to advocate for and support the financial and other investment to achieve the infrastructure changes required.

Booking now open: FORUM 2019.

Posted on: April 24th, 2019


We are delighted to announce that booking for our major conference – FORUM 2019 – on Thursday 24th October 2019 in the Hibernia Conference Centre in Dublin Castle is now open. 
For more details & how to book, please go here.
This year’s theme is “Dying is everyone’s business” and we are thrilled that Dr. Kathryn Mannix, author of the best-selling book “With the End in Mind” has agreed to give our keynote address. 
As at previous Forum gatherings, there will be an exciting panel discussion, questions and answers from the audience, as well as workshops which will include developments in bereavement, exploring the key questions for healthcare arising from the Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act 2015 (ADMA), funerals past and present, nursing home issues and the ever popular (and newly-named) Café Conversation, Bás, Cáca agus Cupán Tae – (Death, cake and a cup of tea) – and much more!
We very much look forward to welcoming you to FORUM 2019.

Bealtaine 2019: Tae, cáca agus comhrá bás

Posted on: April 17th, 2019

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) in partnership with Creative Life at the Mercer Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), St James’s Hospital will be serving up tea, cake and conversations of death at the Bealtaine Festival next month.
Comhrá Bás, Cáca agus Cupán will be hosted at MISA, St. James’s Hospital on Thursday 9 May from 12-2pm as part of the Age & Opportunity Bealtaine Festival which celebrates arts and creativity as we age.
Open to the public, the IHF is encouraging people to come along; to drink tea, eat cake and take some time to think, talk and tell each other what really matters to us at the end of life.
Rebecca Lloyd is Public Engagement Officer with the IHF. She says: “Talking about death and dying is rarely easy but when we consider that whatever stage of life we are at, death is usually with us in one way or another – it is perhaps something we should think about more often. Thinking and talking together in a safe space about death is an important and often overlooked part of a healthy society. Talking gives us opportunity to share our wisdom and our worries, and perhaps do some planning for our individual and collective futures.”
This is a free event. Spaces are limited – booking required. Reserve your place here


New website to support families grieving the loss of a baby

Posted on: April 15th, 2019

Riona Cotter, HSE Programme Manager, Implementation Group for the National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death; Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Consultant Obstetrician at Cork University Maternity Hospital and Principal Investigator at INFANT

INFANT Centre at University College Cork, in partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation, today launched pregnancyandinfantloss.ie, a first of its kind website for Ireland.
A valuable resource for parents who experience pregnancy loss or perinatal death, the website provides accurate and accessible information on a sensitive and often stigmatised subject, shares the latest research into the causes of baby loss, promotes emotional well-being, and offers details on how to access the appropriate support services.
“The website is a step forward in our commitment to consistent quality care for parents, as well as education and support for maternity staff while raising awareness of pregnancy loss and recognising its wide impact,” said Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Consultant Obstetrician at Cork University Maternity Hospital and Principal Investigator at INFANT, Ireland’s only dedicated perinatal research centre.
Dr O’Donoghue and her team at INFANT, UCC, are leading investigations into the causes of pregnancy loss and perinatal death.
Supported by funding from the Irish Hospice Foundation, the website is an initiative of the Implementation Group for the National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death. The programme of implementation of the Standards was led by Dr O’Donoghue and HSE Programme Manager Riona Cotter.
The Standards, launched in August 2016, defined the care parents and families should receive following a pregnancy loss or perinatal death in all Irish maternity hospitals.
“This is an example of the excellent resources available through the INFANT centre at UCC that have a real-world impact and will make a difference to grieving parents and families,” commented INFANT Director, Professor Geraldine Boylan.
Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley acknowledged the impact that pregnancy loss and infant death has on families in Ireland.
“The IHF is very proud to support the new national pregnancy loss website. The loss of a child is devastating to any parent. Grieving parents should be able to access sensitive and consistent bereavement care at every stage of their journey and in every location throughout Ireland. Maternity hospitals play a vital role in supporting parents whose child dies following pregnancy and post birth. It is vital we support staff with tools and information which will equip them to give this bereavement care to parents. This new website will play a major role, I believe, in providing vital information to parents and staff following pregnancy and perinatal death in our hospitals.”
Pregnancy loss is the most common complication of pregnancy.  The end of a pregnancy or the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and infant death can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the woman, her partner, her other children and her extended family.

C’mon the Camino this September!

Posted on: April 8th, 2019


Karl Henry wants you to make every step count for end-of-life and bereavement care this September by walking the Camino de Santiago in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF).
The 2019 IHF Camino takes place from 15th-21st September. This year, participants will be embarking on The Finisterre Camino (118km) – five days of walking through the beautiful coastline and unspoilt landscape of Galicia in Spain. The Finisterre Camino is the only route that begins in the city of Santiago de Compostela and the goal of the journey is the legendary Cape Finisterre, once believed to be the world’s most westerly point.
Speaking at the recent Camino photo call, the fitness expert, radio/ TV broadcaster and author said: “I am delighted to be an ambassador for the IHF’s Camino Challenge this year. Walking the Camino is a wonderful way for anyone to enhance their personal fitness and wellness – and to really enjoy themselves while doing it! Also, just by taking part, you support the great work the IHF does in supporting those facing end of life and bereavement.”
The IHF is the only national charity dedicated to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland. 80 people die every day in Ireland and the IHF believes everyone has the right to be cared for and to die with dignity and respect in their care setting of choice. Its mission is to strive for the best end-of-life and bereavement care for all.
Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF, was among the participants on the 2018 IHF Camino. Speaking today, she said: “By joining us on the IHF Camino, you will be embarking on a personal challenge but through our own efforts, you will also be supporting people nationwide who are facing death and bereavement. Our vision at the IHF is that no one should face these difficult times without the care and support they need.”
“I had such a wonderful experience last year. There was plenty of time for chats and plenty of time for reflection. Everyone is on their own journey for their own reasons -their own challenges and milestones. The Camino welcomes all. I would tell anyone thinking of doing it to sign up now – you won’t regret it.”
If you want more information about taking on the IHF Camino go here or contact Louise today: louise.mccarron@hospicefoundation.ie or 01 679 3188.