At tonight’s meeting of Clonmel Borough Council Cllr Helena McGee put forward the following Notice of Motion, supported by her WUAG colleagues, Cllr Pat English, Cllr Billy Shoer, Cllr Teresa Ryan and Cllr Brian O’Donnell:


“That Clonmel Borough Council call on the HSE to utilise the vacated building’s on the grounds of St Luke’s Hospital, Clonmel to provide palliative care facilities or other.”


Vision for change has seen the closure of a number of units at St Luke’s Psychiatric Hospital in Clonmel and their patient’s relocated to new facilities.  Clonmel and indeed Tipperary could benefit gratefully if the now vacated units could be considered for services such as Palliative care, Hospice, Long Stay/Continuing Care and Respite Care.


Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.


Hospice care seeks to help people with life limiting illness improve their quality of life and find relief from symptoms, pain and stress.


In this county currently there is no inpatient Hospice facility. Palliative care beds are available in: Roscrea, Thurles, Nenagh, Clogheen, Carrick-on-Suir and the Tipperary Welfare Home. Acutely ill patients also receive palliative care at South Tipperary General Hospital.


As well as a dedicated Hospice , a Clonmel based facility offering palliative care beds, would mean keeping patients from in and around the area close to their families and that families as well as the patients could benefit by being close to loved ones at such a difficult time.


Such a facility would mean Patients in need of palliative care may be admitted for further nursing care after discharge from an acute hospital thus not only supporting the patient but also ensuring acute beds in hospitals are available for acutely ill patients.


Patients being cared for at home may be admitted for symptom control, or to provide respite for themselves and/or their carers.


A Hospice facility would also be a great support to amazing services locally and indeed county wide, who in turn would be a great support to it, these services include locally:


Tipperary South Homecare Team
Tipperary South Hospice Homecare Team
South Tipperary Hospice Movement
The Carers Association
CARE South Tipperary Cancer Support Centre
Clonmel Resource Centre Alzheimer Society


The units vacated are also in close proximaty to South Tipperary General Hospital and this would also a great advantage should a patient need urgent transfer for any reason to an acute hospital.


This motion was unanimously passed and will be copied to the Minister for Health and circulated to all local authorities in the county.