Hospice plans for €5m inpatient facility unveiled

THE Kerry Hospice Foundation's plans to develop a dedicated impatient unit at their Palliative Care Centre at Kerry General Hospital took a substantial step forward last week with the official launch of the project in Tralee.

Plans for the €5 million, 15-bed inpatient facility were unveiled on Monday night in what Kerry Hospice Foundation chairman Ted Moynihan said was a momentous night for the charity.

Ted explained that ever since the foundation opened its Palliative Care Unit in 2007, their next big target was to build an inpatient unit on the current day care centre site in Tralee.

Since then, a massive fundraising campaign has been underway, which has seen in excess of €3.5 million being raised to date.

Because the Kerry Hospice Foundation must foot the entire €5 million bill itself, the group will continue to fundraise between now and when work begins on the site, hopefully within the next 12 months.

Ted said it is hoped the new inpatient centre will open in 2015.

"This unit is badly needed because it's not right that terminally ill and respite care patients are being put in open wards in the hospital," he said. "The official launch of the inpatient unit was a positive step for us and it was fantastic to see the plans in front of our eyes for the first time,"