€1m boost will allow hospice to open beds

by Gazette Reporter

A FUNDING allocation of €1m to open beds at St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown is to be included in the 2014 HSE Service Plan, according to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar.
The hospice, located beside Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, is currently open for day-care and out-patient services two days a week; however, the 24-bed in-patient facility remains closed since building work was completed back in April 2011.
The €22.5m hospice was built through fundraising by the St Francis Hospice Group.
In a statement to The Gazette this week, Minister Varadkar said the hospice will be able to provide full-time in-patient care from next year, thanks to the provision of the €1m in the 2014 HSE Service Plan.
He said this allocation will allow some of the 24 beds to open on a staged basis in 2014 after years of campaigning and fundraising by the local community. It will take a number of months to equip the hospice and recruit staff.
He said: “The new HSE Service Plan for 2014 has set aside money which will allow St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown to finally open beds.
“It’s fantastic news for this state-of-the-art hospice, which already provides day care and home care services. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible to open any full-time beds. This should change in 2014, so well done to everyone involved at local level.
“The support for this facility from the local community has been outstanding,” said Minister Varadkar.
Independent TD Patrick Nulty said any funding support for the hospice is to be welcomed, and is long overdue.
“I think great credit has to go to the community – the importance of the hospice to the community of Dublin 15 is exemplified by the generosity from the community when money is being raised for it.
“If funding is provided in the service plan, certainly it is a positive step forward, but we will have to monitor very closely throughout the year the implementations of that service plan,” said Deputy Nulty.

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