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Caru Nursing Home Support & Training Programme Launched Today 

Caru – Supporting Care & Compassion at End of Life In Nursing Homes, a continuous learning programme developed by Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), in partnership with All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC), and the HSE was launched 30th November 2022.

Caru is aimed at supporting and empowering staff in the delivery of palliative, end of life and bereavement care, leading in turn to enhanced quality of life for residents, a good death, easing the bereavement process for their families. Shaped by a spirit of compassion for people in their care, it is underpinned by expertise, experience and research, to support and empower nursing homes. 

Speaking at the launch via pre-recorded video, Minister Butler said:

“I am pleased to launch the Caru programme as it supports Community Nursing Units and nursing homes to enhance palliative, end of life and bereavement care for their residents and families. Importantly, the programme has been developed with the service user at the heart of its design. At all times, the voice and choice of older people needs to be heard. The Caru programme ensures that nursing home staff are trained and supported to deliver excellent care, in line with residents and their families’ needs and wishes.” 

Siobhan Murphy, Director of Healthcare, at IHF says:

“Every year over 23% of deaths occur in nursing homes. We want to ensure that all staff in nursing homes are equipped and empowered to make decisions and have the difficult conversations that happen around those times.  At IHF we will oversee the implementation of this new programme with 9 Regional Leads recruited to deliver our quality improvement workshops, organise regional networking events and support nursing home staff and owners at local level.” 

The programme will be rolled out to all nursing home staff, at all levels, free of charge. Its aim is to enhance staff skills in palliative, end of life and bereavement care and support their health and wellbeing through peer support and reflective practice.  

Karen Charnley, Director for All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care commented:

“AIIHPC is delighted to be a partner in this innovative educational programme for nursing homes. We are looking forward to rolling out our webinars and Project ECHO knowledge networks to support our colleagues in nursing homes in their important role in caring for residents and their families.” 

Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, National Director, Operations Planning HSE said:

“The HSE as one of the lead funders of Caru, along with IHF and philanthropic funding, is pleased to be working in partnership with the IHF and AIIHPC to ensure that all nursing homes and their staff have the opportunity to participate in this high-quality continuous education programme over the next 5 years” 

Siobhan O’Dwyer, Global Head of Marketing and Public Affairs, Kingspan Group commented:  

“We are proud to be long-standing supporters of the outstanding work that Irish Hospice Foundation do, and are particularly privileged to be also supporting Caru, a very important programme which will have a huge impact on so many people in Ireland.” 

Caru is supported by Kingspan who are long standing partners of Irish Hospice Foundation and for which we are very grateful. For more information visit