Vulnerable adults and children receiving palliative care to benefit from €10m fund to strengthen Covid-19 defences, says Donnelly

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Vulnerable adults and children who are receiving palliative care are to receive increased protection from Covid-19 as part a new €10m fund to be announced by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

nd-of-life patients are at higher risk if they catch the virus and they may have life-threatening complications.

Mr Donnelly is to give the €10 m in funding for end-of-life care to hospices, charities and organisations across the country.

The funding will support the palliative care sector to maintain critical and ongoing care services for adults and children in the face of the ongoing threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some €8.5m will be distributed to the members of the Voluntary Hospice Group to allow them to increase the numbers of in-patient palliative care beds.

In addition, €350,000 will be shared to include specialist palliative home care in the South East.Some €750,000 will be granted to the Laura Lynn Hospice, and €400,000 will be distributed equally between the Irish Hospice Foundation, All Ireland Institute of Palliative Care, the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society.

This funding comes after he announced an additional €42m earlier this week to support nursing homes in the battle against the virus.

Meanwhile, the Mental Health Commission has warned that the closure of in-patient mental health centres to admissions because of Covid-19 may put some of the most vulnerable people in the country at risk if appropriate plans are not put in place to ensure they are immediately accommodated elsewhere.

It was reported to the Commission two weeks ago that three in-patient centres, in the same Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO), made the decision to close their centres to new admissions because of the high number of Covid-19 cases in each centre. The Commission’s dedicated Covid-19 monitoring hub has been monitoring the situation in the interim and was this week informed of a risk relating to new admissions.

The decision by all three centres to close to new admissions may have left a number of people who urgently require involuntary admission on a waiting list while alternative accommodation was sought.

Mental Health Commission John Farrelly said :“The closure of the three centres, while necessary, has exposed again how the pandemic is severely affecting the most vulnerable.

“People who require involuntary detention are obviously very unwell and require urgent care and treatment. We know that management and staff in the area worked extremely hard to find these people alternative arrangements, but delays may have occurred. When people are very unwell, and perhaps suicidal, we cannot afford any kind of delay before they start receiving treatment.”

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Source: Irish News