Press release

Donegal Hospice submit planning application for extension and refurbishment project

Published: 19 December 2023

Updated: 29 January 2024

The Donegal Hospice Committee CLG, in partnership with the Health Service Executive (HSE), is pleased to announce the submission of a planning application for the extension and refurbishment of its facilities at Knocknamona, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. 

Palliative care is explicitly recognised under the human right to health and it should be provided through person-centred and integrated Community and Acute health services that pay special attention to the specific needs and preferences of individuals. In 2001, The Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care set out a vision for the development and enhancement of palliative care services in Ireland. It made recommendations in relation to the setting up of a comprehensive palliative care service indicating that a specialist palliative care inpatient unit should be the core essential element of such a service. It further recommended that these units should be staffed by medical, nursing health and social care professionals trained and working exclusively in palliative care. These units should furthermore be of sufficient size and scope to meet the specialist palliative care needs of the population of Donegal.

The proposed development includes the construction of four new apartments. These additional apartments will accommodate patients and their families, offering a supportive and compassionate environment during their time at the hospice. Also included in the development is the provision of additional rooms for example, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Social Work, as well as training and educational facilities. The proposed development also aims to enhance and modernise the existing building, bringing it up to the highest standards for the care and comfort of patients and their families. The expansion of the Donegal Hospice service is a significant milestone in ensuring the provision of exemplary end-of-life care.

The project team includes members of the HSE and the Donegal Hospice Board of directors who will work closely together to ensure that this project is completed in a timely manner. This project aligns with the hospice's commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals facing life-limiting illnesses.  

By expanding the existing facilities, the Donegal Hospice can continue to provide essential services to those in need within the community and surrounding areas. The new state of the art facility will support the training and development of staff, and facilitate the wider community with educational activities. The building works will include the redevelopment of the daycare area and the resumption of this service, as a therapeutic model, will enhance the care provided to the Donegal community.

Speaking about the planning application, Isobell Rodgers, Chairperson of the Donegal Hospice Committee, expressed gratitude to the HSE and the wider community for their ongoing support. She said:

"This is an exciting endeavour for the Donegal Hospice. The proposed extension and refurbishment will enable us to better meet the needs of our patients and their families, offering them a comfortable and homely setting at such a challenging time."

Mandy Doyle, Head of Primary Care CH CDLMS said:

“This project would enhance our ability to provide compassionate care and support to patients and their families in their time of need. We are grateful to the community for their ongoing support and look forward to the completion of the Donegal Hospice facility that will truly make a difference to all those who use it.”

The submission of the planning application marks the beginning of an extensive consultation process with local authorities and relevant stakeholders, ensuring that all necessary requirements and regulations are adhered to.

The Donegal Hospice and HSE remain committed to providing the highest standard of care to the community and will continue to work collaboratively throughout the planning and construction phases to ensure the progression of the development of the expansion of the Specialist Palliative Care inpatient Unit for the population of Donegal. 

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