In response to an urgent request from Saolta, Cancer Care West have made available their 33-bedroom lodge Inis Aoibhinn, to UHG in support of their fight against the COVID 19 epidemic.
The Inis Aoibhinn residence is located on the grounds of the hospital and is used by the charity to accommodate cancer patients who are receiving radiotherapy treatment at UHG. The charity is delighted to confirm that the Harbour Hotel, located in Galway city, has offered alternative accommodation for all of their patients currently in residence.
Starting from Monday 30th March the charity commenced relocating to the third floor of the hotel and to arrange for the necessary transportation to and from the hospital that their service users will require.
Commenting on the new service Richard Flaherty CEO of Cancer Care West stated that he understands that this has been a particularly difficult time for our cancer patents, and the transition has had to happen very quickly, but we are very confident that we can provide our normal level of support and care in the new location.
"I would like to particularly thank John Lally and his team at the Harbour hotel for their exceptional generosity for facilitating us during this difficult time. As an organisation we are committed to assisting the HSE in any way we can in the fight against COVID-19. Vacating our residence and setting up an alternative offering at the hotel at such short notice has been a challenge and I thank the staff of Cancer Care West who have worked hard over the past few days to make it happen.”
John Lally, Managing Director, Harbour Hotel, Galway said that the work that Cancer Care West does for cancer sufferers on the west coast of Ireland is so important, but especially so at times like this.
"My staff and I are delighted that we could offer a good alternative for their accommodation here at the hotel. We look forward to working alongside their staff and looking after their residents for the duration of their stay with us," he added.
Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operations Officer, Saolta University Health Care Group said the addition of a facility with 33 private bedrooms on the grounds of the hospital clearly provides them with additional capacity and flexibility as they continue to build capability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have an excellent relationship with Cancer Care West and their staff who provide much valued support to our cancer patients. Their gesture of help at this difficult time is hugely appreciated as is their quick hand-over and total commitment to making it happen. The exact use of Inis Aobhinn will be determined over the coming days as we continue to deal with the spread of the virus," she said.
The charity has been very active in advising and reassuring cancer patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While they have had to close their two support centres in Galway and Letterkenny, their team of cancer support professionals continue to provide online and telephone counselling to their service users or those recently diagnosed with cancer who are worried about their diagnosis or the impact of COVID-19 on their condition.