Home Archive by category "Latest News"

Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

Vacancy: Senior Research Officer

Posted on: January 21st, 2020

Are you ready for a new challenge? We are looking to fill the role of Senior Research Manager here at the Irish Hospice Foundation. For more information and how to apply for the role, click here.

Closing date is Thursday 13 February.

Will you Think Ahead in 2020?

Posted on: January 15th, 2020

Do your family and friends know your wishes for end of life? What happens if one day you are unable to make decisions for yourself?

Think Ahead is an Irish Hospice Foundation programme which provides a guide to members of the public to help you discuss and record your preferences in the event of an emergency, serious illness, or death.

The Think Ahead form allows you to record your wishes about care in the event of serious illness or death. Details about your emergency contacts, health information, legal information, financial affairs and wishes for care after death can be documented on the form and shared with family and loved ones.

If you are making the decision to Think Ahead in 2020, we are here to support you. 


Minister Doherty Partners with Irish Hospice Foundation to Research the Cost of Bereavement in Ireland

Posted on: January 8th, 2020

Wednesday, 8 January, 2020

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D. today announced that she was partnering with the Irish Hospice Foundation to carry out research into the cost of bereavement and funeral poverty in Ireland. 

The research will commence in the coming weeks supported by funding of €60,000 that Minister Doherty secured in Budget 2020. 

The research will examine funeral poverty in Ireland and on the wider economic impact of bereavement, aiming to:

Engage, capture and build on experience and learning from other jurisdictions and other organisations with an interest in this area

  • Establish a picture of the prevalence and realities of funeral poverty in Ireland and explore the economic impact on families of funerals and bereavement
  • Explore the wider impact of bereavement on the Irish economy
  • Foster a deeper understanding at State level of the potential for social support to alleviate these financial impacts

Speaking today, Minister Doherty said:

“Bereavement affects individuals and families economically in several ways, with funeral costs, additional death-related expenses and loss of benefit or household income.  Funeral poverty occurs when the cost of a funeral exceeds a person’s ability to pay.  It is a big concern for many people at a very stressful time.  There are other economic consequences to bereavement also.  These vary from correlations between bereavement and poor physical and emotional health outcomes, often with economic implications; to the need to take leave after a bereavement to recover or care for other family members.”

Ms Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation commented:

“Over 30,000 people die in Ireland each year, that means over 300,000 people can be newly bereaved. One of the key recommendations in the Finite Lives Report (2017) by Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell, on a whole-of-Government approach to end-of-life issues in Ireland, was to conduct research on the socio-economic impact of the costs associated with dying, death and bereavement.  Through our work at the IHF, we know the grieving process following the death of a loved one can be further exacerbated by financial worries and can have long-term effects on people’s health and wellbeing and that of their families. We have long campaigned for research in this area.

 “This grant is a major step forward by Government in recognising that dying is everyone’s business and we strongly welcome Minister Doherty’s and her Department’s commitment to this vital research project. We look forward to continuing collaboration on this important research area and hope it will, as a result, help to further inform Government policy in the future.”

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection currently provides a range of financial supports for people who have lost a family member through bereavement.  These include the widow’s/widower’s pension, the widowed or surviving civil partner grant, the provision of certain social welfare payments, including the State Pension, to a qualified adult for six weeks after a death of a spouse/civil partner.

The Department also provides a means assessed financial support to help individuals and families meet the cost of funerals through its Exceptional Needs Payments. In 2018, the Department provided almost 3,000 of these payments to a value of €5.5 million towards funeral related expenses.

The research announced today will inform what further interventions or supports the state can provide to alleviate any hardship associated with loss and the Irish Hospice Foundation will complete the research and present the results to the Department before the end of 2020.


New Year, New Challenge?

Posted on: January 6th, 2020



New year, new you, the Irish Hospice Foundation has the challenge for you!

This year, our Cycle Challenge will take place at the end of June across the stunning landscape of Northern Italy while our Camino Challenge will take place in Portugal in September.

Why not get on your bike and or dust off your walking shoes and take on the challenge to raise funds for the Irish Hospice Foundation!

For more details and to register you interest, go here: https://bit.ly/36RvWgY

Rest in peace, Marian.

Posted on: January 3rd, 2020

Friday 3 January 2020

Marian Finucane was a powerful voice for the hospice movement in Ireland and also an incredible supporter of the work of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF).

She was a Director of the Board of the IHF from 1996 until 2010.

Marian was involved in so many projects with the IHF over the years:

– She was one of the early advocates of our Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) programme which was established in 2007 and seeks to ensure end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals. It is one of our flagship programmes here at the IHF and is now active in over 40 acute hospitals nationwide in partnership with the HSE.

– She launched our first ever National Forum on End of Life in Ireland in 2009. The Forum is still running today. We welcome over 300 delegates to Dublin Castle every two years to discuss topics relating to Death, Dying and Bereavement in Ireland.

– In 2009, she also launched the bereavement leafletCoping with the Death of Your Same Sex Partner’ in partnership with GLEN.

– She also wrote a powerful piece for our The Gathering: Reflections on Ireland’ book in 2013.

Most recently she attended the launch by then-Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, of the IHF’s 30th Anniversary programme in 2016.

Speaking today, CEO of the IHF Sharon Foley said: ‘The mission of the Irish Hospice Foundation is to strive for the best care at end of life and in bereavement, for all. As we continue to work towards making this a reality for more people in Ireland, we need powerful advocates. Marian Finucane was certainly that for the IHF. Over many years and across many IHF projects, she so generously gave of her time and used her voice to ensure topics relating to death, dying and bereavement were constantly in the public’s eye. We are so grateful to her for that. She will be sorely missed by many. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.’

New Chair of the Board of the IHF is Jean Callanan: ‘Dying, death and bereavement can be difficult subjects for us all to fathom and to talk about. Marian Finucane was never one to shy away from these vital conversations. Through her rich and varied work with the IHF, she was a real voice for change, particularly in the area of access to palliative care.’ 

Christmas Hours 2019

Posted on: December 19th, 2019

Statement ¦ HSE Service plan is “swings and roundabouts” for palliative care

Posted on: December 19th, 2019

Thursday 19 December 2019

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) said today the HSE Service Plan for 2020 is “swings and roundabouts” for palliative care in Ireland with some services rightly benefiting but the sector as a whole losing out.

While warmly welcoming the additional €10 million in the Service Plan for the opening of 55 more hospice beds in Mayo, Waterford, Wicklow and Kildare, IHF CEO Sharon Foley, expressed disappointment that there is no additional development funding for palliative care programmes nationally, as envisaged in Sláintecare.

“The funding for the new hospices in Mayo, Waterford and Wicklow and the additional beds in Kildare is most welcome. The tireless work of the voluntary hospice movement and the generosity of the general public has funded the building of these hospices. It is appropriate the State now fund the operation of them to ensure more people have the benefit of in-patient hospice care when they need it. We had hoped there would be a sign of investment in the development of palliative care in areas such as the Midlands and North East where there is no specialist in-patient unit. Thankfully, most of us will not require specialist palliative care in an in-patient unit, but will hopefully have our palliative and end-of-life care needs met by our GP or other clinicians. But, for those of us who do require specialist services, our level of access should not be determined by where we live. Similarly, there is no increase in funding for children’s palliative care which requires further investment across the country. 

The State has developed palliative care and provides it in many settings. But, the sector is still fragile, and prone to shocks.  There is a growing population and the number of those expected to die each year will rise by 25% by 2031.  Without proper forward planning for end of life nationally, there will be no future for the Development Framework for Palliative Care, the Children’s Palliative Care Programme or for the plans in Sláintecare. Without such funding palliative care services nationally will continue to be an “add-on” dependent on charitable funding. Collectively, both the State and its citizens need to support the development of regional and local palliative care services. But, the State must take its responsibilities seriously.

While this year’s increase is welcome, the palliative care budget as a percentage of the whole health budget has remained almost static since 2017 showing only a 0.03% increase in that timeframe.

For each person’s death there is only once chance to get it right and lots of chances to get it wrong. If we want to get it right more and more often, we need to build in development funding for these services properly and promptly.”

Two Nursing Home Ireland Awards for Sunhill Nursing Home

Posted on: December 6th, 2019

In the photo left to right: Jan Wilson, Household Staff Sunhill Nursing Home; Georgina Buffini, Regional Development Coordinator CEOL Programme; Kate Steele, National Development Manager Residential Care Settings; Rachel Malone, Activities Sunhill Nursing Home; Siobhan Carroll, Clinical Nurse Manager Sunhill Nursing Home; Tadhg Daly, CEO Nursing Homes Ireland, Marty Whelan.

Sunhill Nursing Home in county Louth picked up two awards at the recent Nursing Home Ireland Care Awards. The CEOL team won the End-of-Life Care Award, sponsored by the Irish Hospice Foundation, while Pauline Conlon was named the Carer of the Year.

CEOL at Sunhill

Led by Siobhán Carroll, Clinical Nurse Manager, the multi-disciplinary CEOL Team includes members of the care, activity and household team. They continually strive to achieve excellence in end-of-life care for their residents in Sunhill Nursing Home. They ensure their residents end-of-life care wishes are respected and they support them and their families on their journey towards end-of-life. Siobhan liaises with the GP and Specialist Palliative Care Team to ensure a peaceful and dignified death for every resident.

Sunhill joined Irish Hospice Foundation’s Journey of Change Programme in 2015 and now has 12 members in their CEOL Team. This dedicated, passionate CEOL Team holds regular review meetings following the death of each resident in which they remember the resident and reflect and review the care provided. This allows them to continue their excellent practices while also identifying potential areas for change.  

Developed by the Irish Hospice Foundation, CEOL, which stands for Compassionate End of Life, supports staff in providing the best possible end-of-life care for people living in residential care centres and enables and empowers staff to continuously review, reflect and improve the end-of-life care they provide.

Learn more about our CEOL programme here. 

Pauline Conlon

L to R: Siobhan Carroll, Clinical Nurse Manager Sunhill Nursing Home; Georgina Buffini Regional Development Coordinator CEOL Programme; Pauline Conlon Healthcare Assistant Team Lead

Located in the village of Termonfeckin, Sunhill Nursing Home is a warm and friendly place, not only to work but especially for residents. Team Lead, Pauline Conlon, is an exceptional carer. She ensures that the ‘Baltray Unit’ is family and resident orientated. A calm and social atmosphere is nurtured there on a daily basis.

Pauline, who is integral to the CEOL Team, advocates a person-centred care approach and goes above and beyond her role to ensure that residents have the best home-from-home experience while living in Sunhill. This was Pauline’s second year to be nominated for Carer of the Year – testament to the exemplary care and dedication she demonstrates in her role in caring for residents in Sunhill Nursing Home.


Make this a Christmas to Remember with a Tribute to Your Loved One

Posted on: December 3rd, 2019


The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) is asking you to support those facing death, dying & bereavement across Ireland this Christmas by donating to its Never Forgotten Appeal.

Every year, over 30,000 people in Ireland die and it’s estimated at least ten people can be bereaved by each death. This means over 300,000 people may experience the pain of loss this Christmas.

The IHF is dedicated to working with those at end of life and the bereaved. Our mission, delivered through our support, education and advocacy programmes is to strive for the best end-of-life and bereavement care, for all.

The Never Forgotten Appeal invites people to remember someone they love who has died this Christmas and support the vital work of the IHF as they help those nearing death and experiencing bereavement.

Each donation also allows people to compose a personal message in memory of their someone special which is then handwritten into the 2020 Book of Remembrance which will then be proudly displayed in the Irish Hospice Foundation library. People can donate online at www.neverforgotten.ie.

IHF CEO, Sharon Foley commented: “Nothing can prepare us for the death of a loved one. Christmas, with all those memories, can be especially raw. But, it’s through memories that we carry our loved ones with us forever.”

“Our Never Forgotten Appeal is one way you can honour a loved one who has died and at the same time make a real difference to others at the end of life or those left bereaved. All donations go towards our work which provides better care and support for those facing dying, death and bereavement all over Ireland.”

The IHF relies heavily on public donations to fund our services. Our work includes:

  • Funding Nurses for Night Care for those with illnesses other than cancer, so they can die at home (20% increase in demand for this service in 2019)
  • Supporting 40+ acute hospitals nationwide to improve end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care (Almost 50% of deaths each year occur in Irish hospitals)
  • Supporting 50+ nursing homes and residential care centres nationwide to improve end-of-life through the Compassionate End of Life (CEOL) Programme (Almost 17% of deaths each year occur in nursing homes).
  • Encouraging Irish people to prepare for death through Think Ahead (85,000+ Think Ahead forms in circulation)
  • A Hardship Fund for helping people and families with funeral costs

Go to www.neverforgotten.ie to make a vital donation in memory of the one you love this Christmas.

Upcoming Workshops on Loss & Bereavement

Posted on: December 2nd, 2019


Do you work with bereaved? In 2020, the Irish Hospice Foundation will once again host a series of Workshops on Loss and Bereavement.

These are for professionals and volunteers who are working with those who have experienced a major loss. Booking is essential.

For the full list of workshops and booking details, click here