New home a 'dream' for Waterford service

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HSE staff and Waterford Hospice Movement representatives at UHW

HSE staff and Waterford Hospice Movement representatives at UHW

The Waterford Hospice homecare service has completed a planned move to the new South East Palliative Care Centre in the Dunmore Wing of University Hospital Waterford (UHW). 

The South East Palliative Care Centre, developed for South East Community Healthcare as part of a €31.26 million project overseen by the HSE’s Estates Department, was completed last year as part of the five-story Dunmore Wing integrated project on the grounds of UHW.

Waterford Hospice's homecare service occupy the upper ground floor of the building, which is the service's administrative base as well as a centre for day services in palliative medicine. When fully operational, there will also be 20 inpatient bedrooms with individual patio gardens on the lower ground floor for clients requiring the expertise of a specialist palliative care multidisciplinary team.

Waterford Hospice Movement, whose ongoing fundraising efforts form a significant contribution to the development of the centre, also continue to provide medical and nursing care and other supports to families of and patients with life limiting illnesses in their own homes and in nursing homes throughout Waterford and South Kilkenny.

The relocation of its offices to the South East Palliative Care Centre follows on from the appointment of Mary Connolly as director of nursing at the centre and UHW’s existing consultant led palliative team commencing operation from the same location late last year.

“The Waterford Hospice Movement is renowned for its specialist palliative care service (Hospice homecare), which it has delivered to the people of Waterford and South Kilkenny for the past 32 years. This has only been possible due to the phenomenal and consistent support we have received in terms of fundraising," said Waterford Hospice Movement chairperson said Danette Connolly.

"It has also allowed us to achieve our dream of an inpatient Hospice unit in the South East. The South East Palliative Care Centre is a powerful testament to the people of the South East and the determination of the past and present members of Waterford Hospice. We are delighted to see our team take up residence, following a professional and seamless transfer of our nursing and admin services led by our management team Patricia Sullivan and Gillian Kavanagh. We look forward to continuing our work as part of the specialist palliative care service for the South East."

Welcoming the Waterford Hospice Movement’s move to the South East Palliative Care Centre, South East Community Healthcare (SECH) chief officer Kate Killeen White said: “Having worked very closely with the Waterford Hospice Movement in recent years, not least in ensuring that their very generous fundraising enabled the Dunmore Wing project to advance, we are delighted that they are co-locating with us in SECH’s two floors of this new facility.

“Obviously, some of the plans we had in mind for the opening of the 20-bed palliative care unit in the first half of 2020 have been affected by the required, all-out effort by the health services in the South East to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As chair of the HSE’s South East Crisis Management Team, I was happy that the Dunmore Wing was at the disposal of that effort, including the lower ground floor of the South East Palliative Care Centre. The last four months has been a challenging time for everyone and we remain on a vigilant footing. Notwitstanding that important consideration, the recruitment of medical, nursing, allied and social care professionals, and administrative support staff for the South East Palliative Care Centre is budgeted for and is continuing. Our goal is to have the 20-bed palliative care unit operation in 2021."