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Minister for Health officially opens South East Palliative Care Centre

 Minister Stephen Donnelly standing beside a plaque on the wall of a healthcare setting with two other men and three women wearing formal clothes.

“The South East Palliative Care Centre is a powerful testament to the people of the region and the determination of the past and present members of Waterford Hospice,” according to Danette Connolly, Chairperson of the Waterford Hospice Movement (WHM), speaking at the official opening of the centre in Waterford recently. “The Waterford Hospice Movement is renowned for its hospice and home care, delivered to the people of Waterford and South Kilkenny for the past 35 years.

“This has only been possible due to the phenomenal and consistent support we have received in terms of fundraising. It has also allowed us to achieve our dream of an inpatient specialist palliative care unit in the South East. We look forward to continuing our work as part of the Specialist Palliative Care service for the South East.”

The South East Palliative Care Centre was officially opened by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD. Staff based at the centre will support Community Specialist Palliative Care Teams across counties Carlow and Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

Speaking at the opening event, Minister Donnelly said the centre was a “crucial and much appreciated specialist inpatient and outpatient centre for the South East region. The integration of health services, close co-operation of acute hospital and community healthcare services and promotion of Enhanced Community Care are represented in the centre’s development and the arrangements in its operation.

“The essence of community healthcare is at play in now having a South East Palliative Care Centre – linked, as it is, with hospice groups and Community Specialist Palliative Care Teams (homecare groups) in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford."

“To the Waterford Hospice Movement, I want to say a special thank you. Years of fundraising in Waterford and South Kilkenny went into this and we also remember all of those, no longer with us, who availed of the WHM and HSE’s support. I know how valued the WHM’s supportive care services are in the community, and we are delighted to be here with them today officially opening such a facility.”

According to Grace Rothwell, HSE Chief Officer, HSE South East Community Healthcare, “the fact that all of the HSE’s services in the region, in addition to the outstanding roles played by voluntary committees of organisations across the five counties, will be linked into this state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility is an excellence in services we have striven for.”

Grace added that she was “also conscious that the 20 en-suite rooms with patios in the Oak Ward offer a dignity to patients and families in difficult times for them and is greatly appreciated by all concerned.”

The centre was developed for HSE South East Community Healthcare, as part of the €31.26 million five storey “Dunmore Wing” integrated project, completed on the grounds of University Hospital Waterford (UHW) in 2019.

The South East Palliative Care Centre occupies the ground and first floor of the Dunmore Wing. The second, third and fourth floors of the Dunmore Wing feature 72 single, inpatient rooms for UHW.

The Waterford Hospice Movement (WHM) contributed €6 million to the South East Palliative Care Centre project and the WHM’s offices are now based in the centre. The WHM continues to provide patient comfort, equipment, amenities, complementary therapies, counselling and support services for patients and their families known to the South East Palliative Care Service, whether in their own homes or availing of care in the centre.