The family of the late John Dallat have made a donation to the North West Cancer Centre in his memory.
A total of £1,500, raised in lieu of flowers from the former politician's family and friends, was presented to the centre at Altnagelvin Hospital last week.
John’s wife Anne, daughter Helena and grandchildren made the donation in recognition of the wonderful care and treatment that John received from the staff throughout his illness.
“The care and treatment that John received at the North West Cancer Centre was outstanding and we will always be grateful,” said a family spokesperson.“As John very publicly acknowledged from the Chamber in Stormont during a health debate this year, he was incredibly grateful for the “extraordinary medical attention” that he received during treatment.
“We have been overwhelmed at the generous donations and it brings us a lot of comfort to know that it will go some way to making life easier for the patients who attend this amazing facility.”
John's daughter, Helena Dallat O'Driscoll, is also part of the SDLP party grouping on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council who have made a Christmas donation to the Northern Ireland Hospice.
In a joint statement, Cllrs Dallat O'Driscoll, Orla Beattie, Ashleen Schenning and Margaret Anne McKillop said hospices make a 'huge contribution' to society.
“This is a cause close to our hearts and we recognise that many of our charities this year have missed a lot of fundraising opportunities as a result of COVID-19 restrictions,” they said.
“Demand on our hospices are increasing at a surprising and steady rate but annual expenditure from government sources is falling. We hope our contribution helps in some way to relieve that pressure.
“We are incredibly lucky to have hospices that provide high-quality, innovative, world-class care here for patients and their families when they are going thorough the most painful of times.
“However, despite their huge contribution to our society, our hospices are shamefully underfunded.We need to find urgent, sustainable solutions.
“The present funding methodology is flawed and operates without evidence base or up-to-date benchmarks.
“We will continue to fight for these vital services so that the most vulnerable in our society and their families are cared for.
“We must not forget that hospices are lifting the burden from the NHS which is why core funding is so important.
“If the situation is not addressed, families will miss out on these vital services at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.”
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