Three new nurses yet to begin work
MEETING GROUP WANTS PALLIATIVE CARE DEVELOPED
A NEW GROUP set up in Wicklow last week to lobby for the development of palliative care services in the county has called for the three new palliative care nurses recently recruited for Wicklow to start work immediately.
At a public meeting held in the Grand Hotel, Wicklow Town on Wednesday called by the Irish Hospice Foundation, about 20 representatives attended belonging to organisations such as cancer support groups and the South Wicklow Hospice Homecare
A new organisation was formed to push for proper palliative services in the county, with the IHF once again reiterating claims that Wicklow had the most under-funded community service in Ireland.
While the HSE recently announced the recruitment of three palliative nurses for the Wicklow area, they have yet to deployed around the county.
According to Dr. Cuddihy, ‘Wicklow has the most underfunded palliative care community service in the country with only one of its four community nursing posts currently filled. We know that three people were successful at interview some time ago. We want to get an immediate start date for these nurses.
‘There are people in Wicklow at this very moment who could benefit from the skills of a palliative care nurse. Any delay is inexcusable.’
It was also stated at the meeting, that under Government policy, Wicklow should have a 12-bedded hospice and access to the services of a consultant in palliative medicine and a specialist registrar, 12 specialist palliative care nurses and a range of multidisciplinary professionals. There should also be five palliative care nurses in the community, at least one community physiotherapist, one community occupational therapist and one community social worker.
According to figures produced at the meeting, only 50 cent per head of population is spent on palliative care in Wicklow, compared to €33 per head in the north west of Ireland. 900 people died in Wicklow in 2006, 180 or 20 per cent from cancer. Figures show that 40 people in Wicklow died of cancer that year, indicating that over 100 cancer patients actually died outside their own county.
Members of the organising committee set up this week meet on Wednesday as well to determine future goals and a course of action.