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Living With Loss 2018: Public Information Evening on Bereavement

Posted on: August 15th, 2018
Our next public information evening on bereavement will be held on Thursday, 1st November 2018 at the Alex Hotel in Dublin.
Our guest speaker Niamh Fitzpatrick (Psychologist and sister of Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick) will focus on the theme: ‘Living with Loss, Observations on grief from the inside out.'
Admission is free and no booking is required. It is open to all members of the public, in particular to those that have been bereaved
For more more information, please click here.

Race Day 2018

Posted on: August 1st, 2018

Join us for some craic at the track on Saturday, October 20th and help raise money for our vital work.

The day will kick off with a drinks reception at 12 noon, followed by a delicious three course luncheon.

RTE Broadcaster Tracy Piggott will be our MC for the afternoon and guests will enjoy a private tote and tipsters in the Pavilion.


On the day, there will be a professional photographer. Please let us know if you would prefer not to be included in these promotional shots.

There will also be a raffle, silent auction and a vault on the day with fabulous prizes to be won.

Buy a table of 10 or 12, tickets available ONLINE NOW

Alternatively, please contact Louise McCarron on 01 679 3188 or louise.mccarron@hospicefoundation.ie to book your place.


  • Price: € 1,250.00 Quantity:
  • Price: € 1,500.00 Quantity:
  • Price: € 125.00 Quantity:
  • € 0.00

Invitation to Tender: Panel of Architectural Advisors required

Posted on: July 24th, 2018
We require a panel of regional architecture advisors to support hospitals across Ireland. Their primary role is to provide design expertise to Design & Dignity and affiliated hospitals and ensure each hospital project complies with the Design & Dignity Guidelines and is completed to a high standard. The Design & Dignity Project is a partnership project of the Irish Hospice Foundation and HSE Estates. It originated in the Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) Programme which was launched in 2007 and continues to be a critical aspect of the HFH Programme. The aim of the Design & Dignity Project is to transform the way hospitals are designed for people at the end of their lives and their families.
More info here.

Pre-budget Submission 2019: Children’s Palliative Care

Posted on: July 11th, 2018

Delivering their Pre-Budget Submission on Children’s Palliative Care to Government today are: Sharon Foley, Sarah O’Callaghan, Head of Marketing and Communications at LauraLynn, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, Dr Mary Devins and Dr Maeve O’Reilly

A coalition of children’s palliative care service providers and consultants in specialist paediatric palliative care is calling on the Government to prioritise the next steps in Children’s Palliative Care programme in Budget 2019. Crucially, they encourage the development of multi-annual budgeting to prevent a stop-start approach to these vital services.
The group made up of Sharon Foley, CEO Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), Dr. Mary Devins, Consultant Paediatrician with a Special Interest in Paediatric Palliative Medicine, Dr. Maeve O’Reilly & Dr. Marie Twomey, Consultants in Palliative Medicine, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and St. Luke’s Hospital, Claire Quinn, Lecturer and Programme Director MHSc /PGD Health Sciences (Children’s Palliative/ Complex Care) at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, Orla O’Brien, CEO, LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice and interim CEO of the Jack and Jill Foundation, Carmel Doyle launched their Pre-Budget Submission today.
The group calls on the Government to start planning in 2019 for a more strategic approach to future budgets to address children's palliative care needs, in order to achieve a full and comprehensive service provision and support network throughout the country.  Commitment to multi-annual budget provision would be a practical way to ensure the smooth roll out of services. Without such an approach, the group says, development will be - at best - piecemeal and uneven and at worst will undermine many of the very welcome positive developments.
Their priorities for progress in Budget 2019 include:
  • Re-establishing a National Development Committee
  • The Employment of the National Programme Manager
  • The extension of the Clinical Nurse Co-ordinators Service for children with life-limiting illnesses,
  • The further development of clinical palliative care services in our children's hospitals
  • Effective integration of the Children’s Palliative Care Programme and service providers, including the funding required for community-based voluntary services.
  • The need for an agreed roadmap for further development of priorities in children's palliative care and secure funding.
 These priorities have been derived from recommendations for service development identified in the recently published National Model of Paediatric Care and also include further recommendations arising from the Evaluation of the Children’s Palliative Care Programme, published in 2016.
Earlier this year, the coalition met with the Minister for Health Simon Harris to highlight their concerns over the slow progress of a number of the key recommendations in the National Evaluation report, which was launched by the Minister himself.
Speaking today Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation said: “We were very encouraged by our meeting with Minister Harris in February and his commitment to implementing the next steps of the Children’s Palliative Care programme. He agreed to a new interim National Development Committee (NDC) on Children’s Palliative Care being put in place as well as the full NDC committee being established by the summer and a new set of national priorities being drawn up by the Autumn.”
“These developments are welcome but there are further unmet needs that need to be addressed. Nearly 4000 children are living with life-limiting illnesses in Ireland today and many have definitive palliative and end of life care requirements. It is vital there is no further delay so these children and their families can get the care they both need and deserve.”
Dr. Mary Devins commented, “We have the evidence from the evaluation and from parents, children and wider families of the benefits of the current service provision for children’s palliative care.  We want to see the best possible services available to all children with life-limiting illness and their families in every county in the country and the reassurance that these services will continue into the future.  At their time of greatest uncertainty, what these families need is certainty – certainty that their child will receive the best care and that they will receive the best support.  We ask the Government to help provide that certainty in Budget 2019 and in future years.”
In Ireland, currently:
  • Approximately 370 children die each year with life-limiting conditions (LLC).
  • Of these deaths, 57% occur in the first year of life.
  • Estimates indicate there are nearly 4000 children with LLC in Ireland today[1].
  • These children have exceptional and unique healthcare requirements and it is estimated that at any one time 50%[2] (approx. 1,960) of these children will require active paediatric palliative care.
A full copy of the Pre-budget submission is available here.
Read the Evaluation of the Children’s Palliative Care Programme here.
[1] https://www.imo.ie/news-media/publications/March-2015-Irish-Medical-Journal.pdf. Accessed Oct 2017.
[2] Fraser LK, Miller, M Hain, R, Normand, P., Aldridge, J., McKinney, P.,Parslow, R. (2002) Rising National Prevalence of life-Limiting Conditions in Children in England. Pediatrics 2012;129:E923-E929.

2018 Summer Raffle winners announced!

Posted on: July 11th, 2018
The winners of our 2018 Summer Raffle have been chosen!
Thank you to all our wonderful supporters who sold tickets on our behalf and to those who very very generously bought them.
The full list of winners is here.

Current Vacancies

Posted on: July 2nd, 2018
From campaigning for better end-of-life and bereavement supports, our programmes and services strive to bring the best care to hospitals, residential facilities and family homes. We upskill hospital and healthcare staff to provide the best quality care in life, death and bereavement. We encourage the public to talk about death and loss and to plan for end of life.

Help Ireland live well, die well and grieve well.

Join our team as Ceol Regional Development Co-ordinator, Southern Region (Deadline extended)


Education Support Librarian (PART-TIME)

Help us innovate and collaborate across health and social sectors to ensure everyone’s end-of-life and bereavement needs are met, regardless of diagnosis, age or location.


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
* The IHF receives core funding from Pobal from the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government’s Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019.

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

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, we are delighted to announce that HSE Estates and the Irish Hospice Foundation have committed a 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, we have supported over 30 projects around Ireland.   Hospitals have created relaxing, spacious family rooms as oasis of calm within busy acute wards, upgraded mortuaries into welcoming, respectful sanctuaries and redesigned family focused bereavement suites in emergency departments and maternity units. Feedback from patients, families, patients and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.  
Who can apply: Public adult and maternity hospitals and paediatric units are eligible to apply. Hospital relocating to a new site are exempt.  
Types of exemplar projects likely to be considered:
  • Family focused bereavement suites in emergency departments (i.e. viewing room with adjoining family room) [* please see footnote below re. Rosabel’s Rooms]
  • Family rooms with overnight & refreshment facilities
  • Palliative care suites within wards (e.g. inpatient room with adjoining family room)
  • Ward spaces to create areas of greater privacy
  • Family friendly mortuaries
  • Interior design including artwork and finishings to elevate projects already underway to ‘exemplar’ status
How to apply for a Design & Dignity Grant:
Please submit the following by email and in hardcopy to Bronagh Curran, The Irish Hospice Foundation, 32 Nassau Street Dublin 2, D02 YE06 bronagh.curran@hospicefoundation.ie
1. A completed D&D Grant Application Form 1 copy
2. A letter from the hospital manager confirming the hospital’s funding commitment (a minimum of 30% of the total project cost) 1 copy
3. Drawings developed by a Design Architect (preferably 3D drawings in A4) 6 copies (A4)
4. A detailed breakdown of costings developed by a Quantity Surveyor 6 copies
Closing date for applications Friday 14 September 2018
Application Form Round 4 - Design & Dignity Grants Scheme v1.0                         Guidance Notes April 2018 - Design and Dignity Grants Scheme