Ireland's only children’s hospice, LauraLynn has announced it plans to establish an on-the-ground presence in Cork, bringing services closer to home for children with palliative care needs and their families in the Munster region.
The announcement came as the charity celebrated a ‘Decade of Care’ yesterday, marking 10 years in existence.
LauraLynn said it is working with stakeholders providing palliative care in the Cork area and the objective is to collaborate with an established service to ensure that the extension of LauraLynn’s care is delivered "most effectively and utilising existing networks and professionals".
The charity said it aims to begin administering some care and supports to families in Cork and surrounding areas this side of Christmas, with the view to being fully operational in early 2022.
Thank you @DonnellyStephen for coming in and helping us celebrate our 10th birthday with our staff, families and children. We are grateful for your continued support. #TeamLauraLynn #MomentsThatMatter #LauraLynn10 https://t.co/7MK2D2LqFn— LauraLynn, Ireland's Children's Hospice (@LauraLynnHouse) September 27, 2021
Speaking at LauraLynn, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly described the news of the expansion plans, which also include increasing care provided from LauraLynn's existing facility in Dublin, as "hugely significant".
"Access to specialised hospice care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families is absolutely vital.
"Palliative care is an extremely important type of care which ensures the greatest quality of life for both the patient and their families and today’s announcement is very welcomed."
LauraLynn currently provides care to more than 220 families every year but the charity’s aim is to double that to reach 400 families by 2024.
In addition, LauraLynn will continue to support more than 200 bereaved families annually.
LauraLynn CEO, Kerry McLaverty said the charity's ambition has always been to be there for every child and family who needs them and that yesterday's announcement marks "one step closer to achieving that goal".
"The opening of a satellite service in Cork will bring services closer to children across the Munster region and will enable families to get the care and support they need closer to home which is something that we know is extremely important."