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Posted on: June 25th, 2018
The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has welcomed the Data Protection Commissioner’s recent report into Data Protection issues in Irish hospitals.
Exactly one month on from the commencement of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the IHF is adding its support to the Data Protection Commissioner’s recommendations to tackle the lack of Speech Privacy in hospitals.
According to the report, Speech Privacy was one of the most common matters of concern noted in hospital inspections last year. Location of communication between patients and hospital staff was the issue everywhere from reception desks, corridors to treatment cubicles in Emergency Departments and at hospital beds.
Head of Healthcare Programmes with the IHF, Marie Lynch, said: “We would strongly support the report recommendation that patients should be afforded the privacy to discuss things like their medical condition, their financial arrangements and all other personal matters with hospital staff without the risk of being overheard by others.”
“This is very much in line with our approach to the provision of appropriate spaces and places for breaking bad news to patients and their families, as well as and enhancing privacy and dignity through our Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) programme.”
Chair of the HSE/HFH Oversight Committee, Cillian Twomey: “We know from our HFH Programme just how vital having such privacy is for all involved.  Through the Design & Dignity project, for example, hospitals have created relaxing, spacious family rooms within busy acute wards, updated mortuaries and redesigned family focused bereavement suites in emergency departments and maternity units. The feedback from families and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.”
In its Pre-Budget Submission released last week, the IHF is calling for further supports to ensure dignity at end of life for those who die in acute hospitals. (Currently 43% of Irish people die in acute hospitals each year). It recommends additional funding for 10 End-Of-Life Co-ordinators across 6 hospital groups be made available as part of the Hospice Friendly Hospital’s programme.
The nation’s only charity dedicated to dying, death and bereavement is also asking the Government to fully implement the recommendations of the National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death, including the provision for adequate funding to develop quiet rooms and counselling rooms in Maternity Units.
For more information on the HFH programme, click here. To read the IHF’s Pre-Budget Submission 2019, click here

A Call for Action on Grief: Our Pre-Budget Submission 2019

Posted on: June 20th, 2018

Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes (left) with Sharon Foley, CEO and Orla Keegan, Head of Bereavement and Education and Angela Edghill, Advocacy Manager (right), pictured at the launch of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) Pre-Budget Briefing held in Dublin.  Pic. Robbie Reynolds


Dying is Everyone’s Business. Can we afford to forget Grief?

Wed 20 June, Dublin – Today, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) is calling for the government to show a more strategic approach to bereavement, palliative care and end-of life issues.
At their Pre-Budget Briefing this morning, the country’s only charity dedicated to dying, death and bereavement, strongly advocates for more joined-up up thinking on a national strategy on palliative care, end of life and bereavement to include both health and non-health areas of public policy.
This underpins all 10 IHF recommendations for budget 2019.
The recommendations are founded in the responses to the 2016 “Have Your Say” survey in which 3,000 people in Ireland expressed their views, fears, hopes and anxieties on dying, death, care and loss.
Death is an inevitable and universal experience – a fact of life. Dying, death and bereavement present a myriad of challenges to the health service, to other state services and to wider society. The IHF believe dying, death and bereavement are everyone’s business with the assumption that healthcare and other services will recognise and address its citizens’ needs.
In the next 10 years[1]:
  • Almost 300,000 people will die in Ireland
  • Over 3,000 of those deaths will be of children
  • Over 250,000 will be of people over 65 years of age
  • Almost 3 million people will be bereaved[2] and up to 150,000 of these will encounter significant difficulties or ‘complicated grief’[3]
Grief is the common ground on which we all stand. We urge the Government and all Oireachtas members to ensure bereavement issues are priority areas for policy development and investment.  If current trends continue 5% of grieving people will require specialist mental health services/psychological intervention[4].
Despite the universality of loss and grief, bereavement is invisible in public policy.  It needs to be brought into the mainstream in policies from education to employment, from health to social protection.
Given this evidence, it is essential the healthcare system meets the needs of people facing dying, death and bereavement and ensures everyone gets equal access to good care.   By careful planning, the IHF directly and indirectly invest in the care of the dying and the bereaved, and, crucially, this planning includes helping people to live well until they die.
Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF said: “The implications of bereavement stretch across our communities – all ages, all circumstances, all cultures.  The cost of building caring communities is a small investment for long-term gains.  Amongst the calls being made by the Irish Hospice Foundation is one for research to uncover the economics of bereavement on people in Ireland. Currently in Ireland, there is little data however we know from experience and international research the many expenses families can face.”
“Everyone in Ireland deserves a good death.  For this to happen, improvements are needed in Primary Care, Residential Care and in Hospital settings.  These improvements need to specifically focus resources and expertise available outside traditional working hours as well as the development of Specialist Palliative Care in the Midlands and North East.”
The IHF asks the Government to:
  1. Ensure everyone has access to the best care at end of life and in bereavement through a political and public policy commitment to a strategic, responsive, population-wide approach to end of life issues and
  2. Ensure the health care system delivers best palliative, end of life and bereavement care in all care settings.
The IHF believes that with a more strategic approach, better end-of-life and bereavement care can make a real difference to both the quality of healthcare provided to the citizen and the cost of health and social care to the State – a view supported by an Oireachtas Committee in 2014. [5]
Angela Edghill, Advocacy and Public Engagement Manager said: “There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The Government’s way forward is to be found in actually implementing current framework documents, reports and policy.
We very much welcome the “Palliative Care Services: Three Year Development Framework (2017-2019)” charting the future for this vital service throughout the country and in all care settings.   The detailed recommendations in Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell’s comprehensive “Finite Lives” Reports of 2015 and 2017[6] provide a blueprint for better integration of State services outside of the health service and a more strategic approach to issues arising in dying, death, loss and care.  They also very much reflect the views of those people who responded to our Have Your Say survey in 2016.”
In some cases the challenge is to simply join the dots – to enable, encourage, mainstream and replicate good practice and innovation across the whole of government and community areas.”
A full copy of the IHF Pre-budget submission is available here.
For more information on Have Your Say, click here.
[1] Figures estimated from CSO statistics of 2015: Vital Statistics 2015 Yearly summary (29,952 deaths in 2015) [2] Estimate based on 10 people directly affected by each death [3] Kersting A, Brähler E, Glaesmer H, Wagner B. Prevalence of complicated grief in a representative population-based sample. J Affect Disord 2011;131:339-43 and Newson RS1Boelen PAHek KHofman ATiemeier H. The prevalence and characteristics of complicated grief in older adults.  J Affect Disord. 2011 Jul;132(1-2):231-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.02.021. Epub 2011 Mar 12. [4] Aoun SM et al. A public health approach to bereavement support services in palliative care. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2012; 36: 14–16. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2012.00825.x. pmid:22313700 [5] Report on Palliative and End of Life Care in Ireland.  Houses of the Oireachtas. Joint Committee on Health and Children July 2014 [6] Finite Lives: Dying Death and Bereavement An Examination of State Services in Ireland: May 2017; Finite Lives: A study in how the State deals with issues relating to end of life: Part 1-  A Report on how the Civil Service deals with dying, death and bereavement among its own members (2015) Senator ML O’Donnell

Vacancy: Fundraising Assistant

Posted on: June 19th, 2018
Think you could be our new Fundraising Assistant?
Our Fundraising Assistant will be primarily responsible for entering fundraising data onto our database arising from our direct marketing activities (such as direct mail and door to door fundraising) as well as assisting with fundraising campaigns (such as tax reclaim and events) and other fundraising activities as needed.
The role also provides support for our corporate and events team to ensure our supporters receive materials, thank you letters etc. in a timely manner.
The IHF has a small online shop and the Fundraising Assistant is tasked with dispatching orders.
For more details & how to apply, click here

Upcoming Workshops on Loss & Bereavement

Posted on: June 16th, 2018

Do you work with bereaved? In 2018, 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

Design & Dignity Grants 2018: Apply Now!

Posted on: May 16th, 2018
Following the tremendous success of the first three rounds of Design & Dignity Projects, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) and the HSE have today announced a new fund for another round of projects.
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, over 30 projects around Ireland have been supported.
Hospitals around Ireland will benefit from the grant fund, which is operated and co-funded by the IHF and HSE, which will help transform older/dated spaces including family rooms, gardens and mortuaries.
For further details, click here

Don’t miss Dublin Choral Festival!

Posted on: May 15th, 2018
Please join us for a very special concert on Saturday 16 June 2018 at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation.
The Dublin Choral Festival returns for a third year and there will be 130 performers, consisting of seven choirs from across the United States with 110 choristers alongside a jazz ensemble and Dublin’s Kaleidoscope (Ensemble) will perform in the hallowed halls of Christ Church Cathedral.
The theme for the concert is ‘Sounds of Spirituality', a concert for Bloomsday and features contemporary works from both sides of the Atlantic.
To find out more, click here.

Could you be our Public Engagement Officer?

Posted on: May 9th, 2018
The Irish Hospice Foundation is seeking to attract a Public Engagement Officer to support the engagement of the public and relevant communities (including other NGOs, public & civic groups and patient groups) across Ireland. The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) is Ireland’s only national organisation dedicated to dying, death and bereavement.
This pivotal role will act a champion and point of contact for all engagement with the public and relevant communities; develop and strengthen links with individuals, communities and groups who have an interest in shaping new opportunities to build personal skills and resilience; organising and supporting events and initiatives for a good death and healthy grieving – bringing to life the People’s Charter.
No one should face dying, death or bereavement without the care and support they need.
The deadline for applications is 28 May 2018 @9am
Find out more here

Shaws Department Stores extend Charity Partnership with Irish Hospice Foundation

Posted on: May 9th, 2018

€30, 926.33 raised by Shaws to date to support end-of-life and bereavement care in Ireland

8th May 2018 – Shaws Department Stores has announced an extension to its successful partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) until 2019. The collaboration, which began in 2017, will see Shaws stores across Ireland continue to raise vital funds and increase public awareness of the work undertaken by the charity for better end-of-life and bereavement care, for all.
To date, over €30,926 has been raised by Shaws’ employees and customers for the IHF since the charity partnership began in May last year. To mark Year 2, a fun week-long window display competition is being held in each of 16 Shaws stores nationwide.
Jonathan Shaw, Managing Director of Shaws commented: “We are delighted with the reaction from our customers and would like to acknowledge the fundraising effort put in by staff throughout our stores since our partnership began 12 months ago. We are thrilled to again be partnering with the IHF for a further year, and hope to be able to help the charity with the outstanding work they do in communities right across the country.”
Collection boxes, Nurses for Night Care badges and nail files and other IHF merchandise will continue to be sold in Shaws stores across Ireland throughout the year, as well as reindeer food and greeting cards in time for Christmas.
Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF: “We are delighted Shaws are continuing on as our Charity Partner into next year. Thanks to the generous support of the Shaws’ staff and customers, we will be able to continue to fund programmes such as our Nurses for Night Care service.”
“This free national service is for people with non-cancer related illnesses to fulfil their wish of dying at home, surrounded by their loved ones. It provides nursing care, practical support and reassurance for the person and their families, in the last days of their lives. Last year, we funded over 2,020 nights of care for over 630 families at a cost of almost €650,000.”
Find out more about our Nurses for Night Care Service here.

MSc Loss & Bereavement: Apply now.

Posted on: April 17th, 2018

** Application Deadline extended **

There is still time to apply for our Postgraduate Courses in Loss & Bereavement.
Our courses are delivered in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and are aimed at professionals whose work brings them into contact with bereavement and loss
Closing date for applications is Tuesday 19 June, 5pm.
For more details & to apply, click here.

New Role: Head of Research, Knowledge and Policy

Posted on: April 12th, 2018
The Irish Hospice Foundation is seeking to fill the role of Head of Research, Knowledge & Policy.
This a senior management role which will translate research into policy and advocacy in order to drive the mission of the organisation.
The role-holder will work collaboratively across all aspects of the organisation to ensure that the programmes and messages of the organisation are driven by the best available evidence.
Closing date for applications is Tuesday 8 May, 5pm.
For further details, click here.