2018 was a busy year for Galway Hospice as the demand for its services went up by 12% according to the newly released Impact Statement.
Last year the Inpatient Unit for Galway Hospice in Renmore cared for 361 people, up from 322 the year before.
The average length of a person’s stay at the Renmore unit was 14 days, and more than half of the people admitted to the Inpatient Unit were later discharged.
Speaking at the launch of the Impact Statement, Chief Executive of Galway Hospice, Mary Nash detailed “how no one person or group makes our vital services possible. A dedicated team of staff and volunteers here at Galway Hospice makes our vision of ‘every moment matters’ a reality.”
“This review is about sharing some of the work and commitment of that team from 2018. It’s a snapshot of what goes on here at Galway Hospice, what we are doing to reach more people in our community and, importantly, how we are delivering care beyond the walls of our building here in Renmore.”
The Impact Statement is a new initiative from the hospice which pulls together the facts, figures and insights from the Annual Report to give a comprehensive overview of what the hospice does, who it helps and how it helps them. and what it takes to make all of this happen.
The Statement was launched on July 19 by Galway TD And Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Seán Kyne.
It showed that 2018 was also a busy year for the Community Palliative Care team, who looked in on 812 patients in their own homes, making 7,016 visits and 21,574 calls to these patients.
Of those patients cared for by the community team, 69% were never readmitted to hospital, with this figure increasing to 90% for patients with a non-cancer diagnosis.
The Statement says there is a “common misconception” that Galway Hospice is solely geared towards cancer patients. But in 2018, 37% of patients had a non-cancer diagnosis.
“No two people are the same and that’s why our care is about tailoring what we do to the needs of each person as an individual,” Mary Nash said.
“There is no ‘one size fits all’ for the specialist palliative support we provide, rather each person can access the supports that are right for them, be that Physiotherapy, Pastoral Care, Bereavement Support, Art Therapy, Complementary Therapies or the many other holistic care opportunities on offer.”
Speaking about their funding she added that “We are grateful for the €4.9m we receive from the HSE annually, however this does not cover the cost of running the service and in 2018 we needed to raise over €2.1m to cover the deficit.”
“We are extremely thankful to our donors and supporters who so generously give to Galway Hospice to assist with reaching our fundraising target and we ask for your continued support in 2019,” said the CEO.
In addition to inpatient and homecare, the Day Care services provided at Galway Hospice are a lifeline for so many. In 2018, there were 1,220 attendances to Day Care, with 71 new attendees.
Of this, there were 385 Aromatherapy Sessions, 254 Art Therapy Sessions, 80 Chiropody Sessions, 480 Physiotherapy Sessions, 372 Hairdressing Sessions and 139 Occupational Therapy Sessions.
The existing hospice facility in Renmore has not been sufficient to keep up with the demand for services for many years now, and Galway Hospice has long been looking for a replacement.
Last Autumn the city council granted planning permission for a modern, new facility near Merlin Park Hospital, however that permission was overturned by An Bord Pleanála on environmental grounds.
Speaking about the setback, Chief Executive, Mary Nash warned that the demand for their hospice services is expected to double in the next ten years, and that it is essential that a new hospice be built as soon as possible.
“We are working to identify a new site for Galway Hospice so we can make sure that in years to come, more of our family, friends and neighbours benefit from expert specialist palliative care and end-of-life care when life comes full circle.”
photo credit: Galway Hospice