Press Release

Minister Harris opens new hospice service for Kildare & West Wicklow as Govt continues to improve palliative care

– 71 new palliative care beds in last five years, with plans for more in next five years.

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, today (Monday) attended the re-opening of St Brigid’s Hospice in the Curragh which has been redeveloped as a centre of excellence delivering palliative care services for the people of Kildare and West Wicklow.

Speaking at the opening, the Minister said:

“My Department, in partnership with the HSE and many voluntary organisations across the country, including St. Brigid’s, has increased the number of specialist palliative care beds country wide by almost 50% in the last five years. Over the next five years, we hope to increase this by a further 50%, ensuring that there will be a hospice serving every region in the country. Government funding for palliative care has steadily increased over the last five budgets.

“Redevelopments are taking place in existing hospices and are being carried out with patients in mind, remembering their right to respect, dignity and privacy. These are important aspects of palliative care, placing patients at the centre of care provision. I am confident that this will result in an even better experience for patients and their families.

“The services to be delivered from St Brigid’s Hospice include palliative home care services, a 13 bed in-patient service and day services. In this hospice each in-patient has garden views and large double doors which open directly onto their own private terrace, allowing beds to be placed outdoors if required. There are also communal gardens that patients and their families can enjoy. The services include the development of a day hospice which will provide access to a multi-disciplinary team including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, dietetics and speech and language therapy. Day services are an integral component of palliative care services providing increased capacity to assist and support patients who wish to remain in their homes. The palliative home care services also now located in St Brigid’s provide specialist nursing care to the community.

“I want to commend the work of the Hospice’s staff and palliative care team, and thank them for making a difference in the lives of patients and families across the region.”