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Improving end of life care in Ireland

[Posted: Fri 09/01/2009 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]

Members of the public are being asked to make suggestions on how end of life care in Ireland can be improved.

Around 30,000 people die in Ireland each year and research indicates that most people would like to die in their own homes, surrounded by their loved ones, pain-free, conscious and able to communicate. However the reality is that three in four people die outside of their own home and 40% die in busy acute hospitals.

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) is inviting people to take part in its newly established Forum on End of Life in Ireland, which will be formally launched in March.

During the year, this forum will examine a range of issues relating to end of life care in Ireland, including the care available to older people, the plight of carers, regulation of the funeral industry and the need for the public to engage in advance care planning.

Individuals and families are being encouraged to make suggestions on how the experience of death and bereavement might be improved.

Following the official launch of the forum on March 11, a series of workshops will take place until December 2009. A regional consultation programme will then be organised for January to April 2010.

The final report of the forum is expected to be published by the end of April 2010. A national coalition will then be established to advance the vision and action plan emerging from the forum’s findings.

“The forum can only be strengthened by hearing from various interest groups with widely differing perspectives. The ultimate aim of this exercise is to help ensure that a quality approach to care exists throughout all the services which are provided to the public in order to facilitate a good death, when it is expected or can be predicted,” explained IHF chief executive, Eugene Murray.

The deadline for written submissions to the forum is February 20. These can be sent by email to submissions@endoflife.ie or by post to:
Paul Murray
Forum Co-ordinator
Irish Hospice Foundation
32 Nassau Street
Dublin 2

Suggestions and queries can also be made by phoning (01) 6755 970.

More information is available at…http://www.endoflife.ie

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