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Hospices need three times as many beds

Up to 2,500 terminally ill patients are denied access to hospice inpatient care each year because of the lack of services nationwide.

A new report by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) found three times as many hospice beds are needed in the country to meet demand.

IHF chief executive Sharon Foley said in some areas patients at their most vulnerable are being denied services because of where they live.

"Not having access to inpatient hospice beds has a critical impact on whether a patient dies in an acute hospital or not."

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Cancer is Ireland's second biggest killer, accounting for more than 8,000 deaths – more then a quarter of the death toll.

The IHF said there should be 450 hospice beds, but only 155 are available.

The north east (Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan), the midlands (Laois, Offaly, Westmeath, Longford) and the south east (Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow) have no hospice service, while Wicklow, Mayo and Kerry have no hospice inpatient unit.

hnews@herald.ie


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