Minister Simon Harris with the Hospice Staff and The Hospice Dog Rua
Minister for Health Simon Harris TD officially opened the €6 million revamped St Brigid’s Hospice in the Curragh on Monday.
The Friends of St Brigid’s Hospice, in partnership with the HSE and trustees of the Drogheda Memorial Hospital, were in charge of the extension and refurbishment of the existing building on the Curragh.
The services to be delivered from the refurbished St Brigid’s Hospice include palliative home care services, a 13 bedded in patient service and day services. This hospice affords each inpatient, garden views and large double doors which opens directly onto their own private terrace, allowing beds to be placed outdoors if required.
Speaking at the re-opening of the Hospice, Minister for Health Simon Harris commended the work of the Hospice’s staff and palliative care team, thanking them for making a difference in the lives of patients and families across the region. The Minister also praised the people of Kildare and West Wicklow for their great generosity in donating to St Brigid’s.
Minister Harris noted that the redevelopment was necessary to ensure that the Hospice could continue meeting best practice in palliative care provision, and was part of a move to further increase the number of specialist palliative care beds across Ireland.
He added that The Friends of St Brigid’s Hospice have worked courageously to arrive at this day.
The palliative home care services are also now located in St Brigid’s to provide specialist nursing care to the community. 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.
Eileen Mc Donald, Chairperson of the Friends of St Brigid’s Hospice said; “hospice care is so important for all the community; together we have succeeded in providing a wonderful building in this unique setting for the people of Kildare and West Wicklow. This state-of-the-art building architecturally managed by Ronan Rose Roberts has yielded the perfect balance between patients’ clinical requirements and affords both patients and their families a soothing and comfortable environment”.
She said the therapeutic benefits of the gardens are beyond doubt. The work of well-known garden designer Angela Binchy provides this hospice with a sense of sanctuary.
In a media statement the HSE explained that the project came about in partnership with the Friends of St Brigid’s Hospice to make St Brigid's Hospice a new centre of excellence that ensures patients with life limiting conditions and their families can easily access a level of palliative care service that is appropriate to their needs.
"This re-development would not have been possible without the generosity of the people and businesses of Kildare and West Wicklow. This unique partnership between a voluntary and statutory group, the Friends of St Brigid’s Hospice and Health Service Executive, has culminated in the delivery of this centre of excellence where palliative care services for the people of Kildare and West Wicklow collocated," it stated.
Welcoming the return of St Brigid’s Hospice to the Curragh Ms Ann O Shea, The Health Service Executive, Chief Officer for Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow said “the re-opening of St Brigid’s Hospice offers patients more access to appropriate care pathways, improving patients’ and families experience. This service offers a seamless care pathway across inpatient, home care and day services for patients requiring palliative care. Palliative care is a key part of our health service and it is essential that people are treated with dignity and respect.
Ann paid particular tribute to the Friends of St Brigid’s whose tireless work and commitment have made this dream a reality.