The newly appointed CEO of the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, Martina Jenkins, attended a recent meeting of the Boyle Support Group. She wanted to convey the appreciation of the Foundation to the group and the people of Boyle for their continued support of all the fund raising during the years for Hospice. She then went on to give a brief account of the work of the Hospice and where 100% of the fund-raising goes.
Working in association with HSE West, the Hospice provides a 7-day specialist palliative home care service. They also support the palliative care service at Mayo University Hospital and Roscommon Hospital. There are 10 specialist palliative care nurses working in the Mayo home care team and 6 in the Roscommon team. A senior medical social worker and a medical secretary work with each team. A Family Therapist is employed by the Foundation to provide bereavement support for families.
Hospice part funds the cost of the “Home Sitter” which operates as an integral part of the palliative home care service. Sitters are highly trained carers who have years of experience working in health care. The sitter service keeps patients out of hospital, which, in turn, is a great saving for the HSE.
Hospice also funds the following services:
- Office accommodation for the palliative care teams.
- Additional night nursing service in association with ICS and IHF
- Additional therapies for patients
- Family support budget (financial assistance, transport for treatment and accommodation)
- Funding for specialist equipment for patients
- Bereavement support for families
- Physiological support for the teams – “caring for the carers”
- Ongoing staff training and education
- Capital Development – Hospice Units in Mayo and Roscommon.
The majority of patients cared for by the Teams are cancer patients. As the Service has developed and expanded, it is now also available for pain and symptom control in patients with other non-malignant conditions such as: End stage Motor Neuron, Muscular Dystrophy, MS, COPD, Dementia and Heart Failure.
The next big project is to build Hospice in-patient Units in Mayo and Roscommon. Plans are in place to build a 14 Bed Hospice Unit on HSE land in Castlebar and an 8 Bed Unit in the grounds of Roscommon Hospital. The capital cost of both projects will be approx. €15 million. To date the Foundation have raised €10 million.
The Hospice is governed by a board of directors who give their time totally voluntarily, but who ensure the Foundation is run to the highest of standards. As they do not receive any government funding they are totally reliant on communities throughout both counties. Without the support of the people there would be no Palliative Care service. All monies raised through fundraising goes directly to the Palliative care services or to the capital development of the Hospice.
Photo shows Martina with some members of the Boyle Support Group.