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Palliative care is everyone’s business

Foyle Hospice’s chief executive Donall Henderson says key objectives over the next few years include going to a seven day a week service and putting a greater emphasis on supporting carers as well as trying to find funding for two additional beds for the Inpatient Unit.

Palliative care is everyone’s business

Foyle Hospice fundraisers

Foyle Hospice’s chief executive Donall Henderson says key objectives over the next few years include going to a seven day a week service and putting a greater emphasis on supporting carers as well as trying to find funding for two additional beds for the Inpatient Unit.
“What we are finding is that patients’ illnesses have become more complex and the number of transitional patients, moving from children into adult services, is also increasing. Medical advancement means people are living longer. 
“We are finding the increase is now for end of life care, but we would like to try to get those two extra rooms so that we are able to support patients who need a little bit of respite.”
 
Challenging
While the hospice is attempting to expand its services there has been a gradual decline in overall donations in recent years.
“We have to raise 70% of our total running costs from the local community and we have been really fortunate but it is becoming much more challenging, much more competitive. 
“We have a really supportive donor base and a really generous local community but whilst we try to drive our costs down as far as we can there are some costs we have no control over.
“It’s challenging to sustain that increase of costs when your donations are levelling off and we do need to look at ways to turn that round.”
 
Compassionate Communities
The hospice has also been running a volunteer reach-out programme called Compassionate Communities which is a public approach to palliative care aimed at providing support for people who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and have become socially isolated.
“It’s just a couple of hours a week for the volunteers but it makes a big difference to the people that are availing of the service,” Donall says.
“It’s back to the fundamental notion of being a good neighbour and the key message is palliative care is everybody's business.”

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