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Local Senator calls for progress to be made on establishment of Midlands Hospice

There have been renewed calls to build a hospice in the midlands.

The Midlands region of Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath is the only region in Ireland that does not have a hospice.

Hospice care is a special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness.

Hospice care provides compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.

Speaking in the Seanad recently, Fianna Fail Senator Fiona O’Loughlin said that ‘this is just not acceptable’.

She said: “Despite a proposal for a 16-20 bed In-Patient Unit (Hospice) within the grounds of the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore agreed in 2014, the Midlands still have the lowest level of regional state investment in palliative care nationally with no specialist inpatient hospice unit.

“While the region is fortunate to have a well-developed palliative care service in the community and the aim is to care for people appropriately at home for as long as possible, the provision of specialist palliative care inpatient beds will facilitate hospital avoidance and support families in end-of-life care for their loved ones.

“We need to ensure that we are providing patients and their loved ones with adequately funded and resourced end-of-life and palliative services.

“These are already incredibly difficult and traumatic times for people, and it is not acceptable that we add to that suffering by not providing hospice care in the midlands.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.