South Westmeath Hospice Foundation aims to provide patients and their families with compassionate palliative care within a safe and welcoming environment.
We strive to ensure the best end-of-life and bereavement care and always place our patients and family at the center of our work. We aim to deliver palliative care to all patients regardless of location or illness, through collaboration and corporation with our community and expertise.
Hospice or palliative care is a special type of care for people whose illness may no longer be curable. It strives to enable them to achieve the best possible quality of life during the final stages of their illness. Hospice care also embraces families and friends by supporting them through the illness and into bereavement.
World Health Organisation definition of palliative care
WHO Definition of Palliative 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.”
There is no cost to patients or families for any of the hospice services. The service is partially financed by the Health Service Executive and relies upon the generous support of the public. Please see our Fundraising section for ways you can help.
Referral forms are available from the hospice, all hospitals in South Westmeath and County catchment area, and GP surgeries. Referrals from GPs or hospital doctors/consultants are required.
We typically ask our volunteers to commit to a weekly time commitment of 3-4 hours. Please see our ‘Volunteer’ section for an idea of the various roles our volunteers fill, as well as information on how to apply to volunteer.
The committee of South Westmeath Hospice consists entirely of volunteers. A meeting is held where we welcome members of the public. An AGM is also held, where directors and officers are elected, and the externally audited accounts of South Westmeath Hospice are approved.
Your comments, complaints and suggestions are welcomed as they allow us to continually improve our services. We recognise that there may be times when you are not satisfied with our service and you may wish to make a complaint. If you have any concerns about any aspect of your care or the services provided at South Westmeath Hospice, we advise you to speak to the person in charge of the area. They will address your concerns as quickly as possible. If it hasn’t been possible to resolve your concerns locally, you may wish to make a formal complaint in writing.
Please send your complaint to:
Palliative Care Unit,St. Vincent’s Care Centre,Coosan Road,Athlone,Co. Westmeath.
In accordance with the hospice’s Complaints Policy, all complaints will be treated confidentially and processed in a timely and efficient manner. We strive to provide the best care possible to our patients and their families. Please let us know if you have an idea or a suggestion that you believe would benefit others who use our services.
Please let us know if you are satisfied with the services we have provided. Comments from patients and visitors to the hospice are always welcome by our staff and volunteers.
The South Westmeath Hospice Foundation was founded in 1994 to assist patients patients and families with compassionate palliative care and respite at St. Vincent's Hospital in Athlone. The Home Care team also provides patients with life-threatening illnesses and their families with support at home in in Athlone, Moate, Glasson, Castledaly, Tang, Ballymore, Ballinahown, Mount Temple, Monksland, South Roscommon, and the surrounding areas.
Due to an extraordinary fundraising effort in 2010, a four-bed inpatient palliative care unit opened on the grounds of St. Vincent's Hospital in Athlone. The facility includes four single bedrooms with en-suite, assisted baths and toilets; standard medical treatment and office space for nursing personnel; a dayroom/dining area for patients and a family room for patients to use. The vast majority (€1.45m) of the €1.9m required for construction was raised through fundraising campaigns and voluntary donations.
The South Westmeath Hospice Foundation and those who use the Hospice's services are grateful for this community support. We welcome and encourage additional fundraising efforts to ensure that we can continue to offer free services to users and their families seven days a week.
Our plan for the future is to increase the access to high-quality specialist palliative care services to patients in South Westmeath with life-limiting conditions. With this in mind, we have started planning our relocation to a newly constructed Community Nursing Unit in Clonbrusk, which we hope to open in the second half of 2024. The facility includes 50 residential beds and a day centre with a capacity of 25 people, with the goal is to provide the highest standard of end-of-life care for our patients and their families.