WATCH: Simon Harris unveils €12m Milford Care Centre expansion in Limerick

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Pat Gilmartin, Sr Mary Flanagan, Pat Breen TD, Minister of State, and Milford Care Centre chief executive Pat Quinlan with Minister Harris at the unveiling

Pat Gilmartin, Sr Mary Flanagan, Pat Breen TD, Minister of State, and Milford Care Centre chief executive Pat Quinlan with Minister Harris at the unveiling

MINISTER for Health Simon Harris said the new €12m Milford Care Centre development will help improve the experience for patients and their families.

This Monday morning, Minister Harris unveiled the new development, comprising 34 single bed rooms, four overnight rooms for families, and 22 additional beds in the nursing home.

He said the new facility, which received €1.5m in HSE funding, will “better meet the needs of the changing model of palliative care”.

“As more of us live longer, we need more palliative care services and we are meeting this demand, with expansion of bed capacity and introduction of single occupancy rooms where people’s needs are looked after, and their dignity is respected. These are important aspects of palliative care, placing patients at the centre, and I am confident that the new hospice will result in an even better experience for patients and their families.”

Milford Care Centre CEO Pat Quinlan said the new development was the “culmination of decades of dedication” in providing palliative treatment since 1977.

“The driver for this new development is our objective of ensuring respect and dignity at all times for each individual patient and that we have extra bed capacity to meet growing demand. The move to an all single-room configuration in both the expanded hospice and nursing home will ensure that we can achieve this aim going forward. We are also pleased to have the additional overnight accommodation for families in the hospice as palliative care is about caring for the patient but also supporting the family.”

He said that bed occupancy has increased from 83% in 2017 to 89% in 2018, levels that have “warranted us seeking additional funding” to commission four beds in 2019. 

“This is something that we hope will be given favourable consideration by the HSE for 2019 as such a development would make a major difference in our ongoing capacity to be able to meet patients’ needs in a timely and responsive manner at a time when there is growing demand for our services.”

On the same day, Minister Harris announced government funding for the €19.5m 60-bed modular block, which will act as an interim measure prior to the construction of a 96-bed block sometime after 2021. 

Minister Harris also launched a new cataract centre at Nenagh General Hospital.