The first national policy on palliative care for Children was launched by Minister of state for Children and youth affairs Barry Andrews TD at Leinster House on Wednesday (March 24th).
The publication ‘Palliative care for children with life limiting conditions – a national policy’ outlines a national strategy for paediatric palliative care in Ireland. The policy, developed following the joint Irish Hospice Foundation and Department of Health and Children (DOHC) 2005 study ‘Palliative care needs assessment for children’ outlines an initial investment of over 2.5 million by the Irish Hospice Foundation over the next five years for the employment of Ireland’s first paediatric palliative care consultant and five out reach nurses. A further three nurses will be employed by the HSE during phase one. Speaking at the launch Minister Andrews acknowledged the contribution of the Irish Hospice Foundation in getting the policy off the ground adding that ‘It is very encouraging to see developments such as this, particularly in palliative care services, where we have a solid bond between the statutory and voluntary sectors’ .