Following numerous motions, questions and representations, the Regional Health Forum of the HSE have informed Fine Gael Councillor, Tom Farrell, that a draft internal re-configuration plan to accommodate four palliative care support beds and ancillary accommodation in the new 50 bed CNU in Clonbrusk has been forwarded to the South Westmeath hospice committee for their consideration.
The HSE also informed Cllr. Farrell that a meeting is to take place with the South Westmeath Hospice Committee to discuss the proposals.
In welcoming this news the Fine Gael Councillor stated that the forwarding of this re-configuration to the Hospice Committee was a step in the right direction.
“Many people have come to me and shared their own personal experience of what this service means to them and their families. The HSE must not only retain beds and ancillary services but also the ethos that is the South Westmeath Hospice.
“Palliative Care has progressed so much over the years that many more people are and will avail of this wonderful service,” Cllr. Farrell asserted.
The Fine Gael Councillor also expressed regret that a lack of proper consultation in the first instance had created much anxiety as the South Westmeath Hospice committee strived to maintain a palliative care facility open in Athlone.
This development follows months of campaigning and negotiations at the highest levels. Cllr. Farrell commended the South Westmeath Hospice committee for the manner in which they conducted their campaign and emphasised the need to continue advocating for the service. He also emphasised that he will continue to liaise with the committee until such time as they are satisfied that their objectives have been met by the HSE.