Group campaigning for palliative services calls public meeting
A NEWLY-formed group campaigning for improved hospice care in County Wicklow has called for a public meeting in support of the development of much-needed palliative services.
Dr. Brendan Cuddihy of Greystones is the Chairperson of the organising committee for the Wicklow Palliative Care/Hospice Campaign, and Wicklow town’s Miriam McGrath is the secretary.
The group wants the three recently recruited palliative care nurses for Wicklow to start work straight away.
They also plan to strongly lobby the HSE to implement the plan to build a hospice in the county, and want to know where the proposed site for the hospice will be.
Loughlinstown is the nearest acute hospital for patents from Wicklow but has a limited palliative care service.
According to members of the Wicklow Palliative Care/Hos- pice Campaign, this is completely contrary to HSE policy.
Every other major acute hospital in the region has a palliative care team and the lobby group want the same sort of service put in place at Loughlinstown.
Dr Cuddihy says, ‘ Palliative care saves money. Patients under the care of a hospice spend less time in hospital and when they are admitted their stays are shorter. They also spent less time in intensive care.
‘At the moment 50 cent per head of population is spent on palliative care in Wicklow compared to €33 per head of population in the north west of the country. Developing the palliative care service for Wicklow is in the interests of patients and their families but it is also good for State coffers.’
The public meeting takes place in Fatima Hall in Wicklow town at 8 p.m. on Wednesday March 4.