€8.5m developments announced for hospice care in Limerick

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Pictured at the Milford Care Centre announcement were Michael Sheahan, Mayor of Limerick Metropolitan District; Minister Jan O'Sullivan,  Minister Michael Noonan; Sr Teresa Corby, and Kevin Sheahan, Mayor of Limerick City & County . The new projects are expected to be completed in 2017. Picture: Keith Wiseman
DEVELOPMENTS amounting to €8.5m have been announced for Milford Care Centre in Limerick, with funding from JP McManus set to provide €3.4m of the overall costs.

DEVELOPMENTS amounting to €8.5m have been announced for Milford Care Centre in Limerick, with funding from JP McManus set to provide €3.4m of the overall costs.

The projects in Castletroy, which are set to be completed in 2017 and will bring a number of construction and nursing jobs to the region, were announced this Monday by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan.

Milford Care Centre is to build a new 34-bed specialist in-patient palliative care unit at Castletroy, which will serve Limerick and the Mid-West region, and they will also expand the centre’s not-for-profit nursing home facility.

The new hospice will cost an estimated €7.7m, and the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and the JP McManus Pro Am 2010 are to contribute €3.4m towards this project, Minister Noonan disclosed.

The nursing home expansion will cost €800,000, which is to be funded directly by the nursing home, bringing the total cost of the Milford developments to €8.5m.

Both the new hospice in-patient unit and the upgraded nursing home will be configured entirely for single occupancy only and the full project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Minister Noonan paid special tribute to the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and the JP McManus Pro Am Event 2010 for supporting the new hospice unit. Jan O’Sullivan, Minister for Education and Skills, said that the project is set to bring significant benefits to people throughout Limerick city and county, as well as throughout the region.

“Last year alone, more than half of new referrals to the Milford Hospice service were from Limerick,” she noted.

Sue Ann Foley, who heads up the JP McManus Benevolent Fund, said they are pleased to support this very important initiative.

“Milford Hospice has touched the lives of people and communities right across the region and is synonymous with loving care for patients and families at a difficult time in their lives. With demand for its services growing steadily and, increasingly, coming from people with non-cancer conditions, it is indeed a most worthy cause for support. We are pleased also to see that some funds are also being allocated from the JP McManus Pro Am Event in 2010 towards the project,” she said.

Milford chief executive Pat Quinlan said the demand for in-patient services has more than doubled in the past ten years and the hospice had been operating at full capacity on a number of occasions in recent years, but particularly in 2014.

“As demand continues to grow, it is important to ensure that those patients requiring a bed can speedily access it,” Mr Quinlan said.

“The majority of beds in the existing Hospice are in shared rooms and this configuration needs to change due to the increased activity levels and our desire to maintain the highest standards into the future. This similarly applies to Milford Nursing Home”, he added.

Bernard Gloster, chief officer, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare, said that Milford’s development proposals are very much in response to the infrastructural priorities for specialist palliative care identified in the 2013-2017 Strategic Plan for Palliative Care in the Mid West, jointly developed by Milford and the HSE.