Harold’s Cross Hospice plans 36-bed unit as demand grows

More palliative care to be provided in community under €16m plan

A new 36-room palliative unit is to be built at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin, as part of a €16 million redevelopment of facilities. Image: Google Street View

A new 36-room palliative unit is to be built at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin, as part of a €16 million redevelopment of facilities. Image: Google Street View

Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 08:24

A new 36-room palliative unit is to be built at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin, as part of a €16 million redevelopment of facilities.

Community palliative care services are also being expanded under a planning application lodged by the hospice with Dublin City Council yesterday.

The palliative care unit will include 36 en-suite rooms, giving patients and their families more space than exists currently. Most of the existing beds are in shared facilities.

The hospice is also planning to expand day services and to provide more access to palliative care support in the community. At present, more than 12,000 home visits take place each year.


Earlier stage
“We are seeing a growing demand for hospice services from patients at an earlier stage in their illness, from day patients and from patients in their homes,” said Mo Flynn, chief executive of the hospice. “For many patients the hospice will be their final home where they want privacy and space. This development will mean every patient has their own room looking out on a green space.”

Admissions grew 10 per cent last year while demand for community referrals have increased by 75 per cent in three years, according to Ms Flynn. “As well as provided end of life care, we find we are catering for the palliative needs of an increasing number of people with non-malignant diseases such as respiratory failure, heart problems or motor neurone disease. And we’re caring for people for much longer than before.”

The first phase of the development will see the construction of 36 single bedrooms in clusters of six, to create “small communities of care” around a landscaped courtyard, according to the application. Sleeping space will be provided for family members. At present, up to 15 family members stay nightly, despite the lack of suitable accommodation. The existing building will then be transformed into a community palliative care unit, including a new day hospice.

The development is being funded from existing resources and future fundraising income. Work is expected to start by the end of the year and is scheduled for completion in mid-2016.