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Galway Hospice cared for more than 1,000 patients and their families last year


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway Hospice cared for more than 1,000 patients and their families last year

Demand continues to increase for hospice services in Galway – both at home and in the community – with 934 patients cared for by Galway Hospice’s Community Palliative Care Team last year; up 4% on 2020.

Galway Hospice cared for more than 1,000 patients and their families last year, according to the charity’s Impact Statement for 2021, which was published this week.

From a total income of more than €13.1m last year, around €10.5m was in HSE funding; more than €1.4m from fundraising and draws; €544,000 from donations and a total of almost €275,000 was bequeathed.

Expenditure of around €10.7m was recorded – including €5.15m for palliative day care; €1.63m for homecare; €3.2m for running the hospice in Castlebar and more than €500,000 in fundraising costs and draw prizes. Total funds carried forward in the accounts stood at almost €12.5m at the end of last year.

The Community Palliative Care Team provide advice and support on pain and symptom management, end-of-life care and bereavement support to patients of all ages with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

The team is accessible to patients and their families 365 days a year. In 2021, they made 5,499 visits and 26,787 calls to patients and families.

The Hospice also cared for 286 patients in its Inpatient Unit in Renmore. The average length of stay there increased from 12 to 15 days, with 45% of patients admitted being discharged back to their home or to a community based-setting.

Covid-19 restrictions saw the Hospice being creative with its resources, using outdoor space, adding new garden furniture and colourful landscaping to welcome families and visitors.

At Christmas, the Hospice facilitated local musicians to play carols outdoors under shelter for patients and their families. The team there were also able to organise outings during the year, such as afternoon tea and visits to local beach Ballyloughane.

Last year also saw 5,265 therapeutic treatments for in-patients at Galway Hospice, including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Aromatherapy and Art Therapy.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the Hospice’s Medical Social Work Team continued to find ways to support patients and families, including virtual family meetings, keepsake and memory work, the ‘Walk & Talk’ initiative in Barna Woods to support bereaved people experiencing isolation in their grief during Covid-19, recording remembrance services with the Pastoral Care Team and facilitating a children’s bereavement group.

“During 2021 we continued to face unprecedented challenges but we have worked together to provide compassionate care and companionship to palliative and bereaved individuals and families,” said Galway Hospice Chief Executive, Mary Nash.

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