It was announced today, following a visit by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, that LauraLynn Children’s Hospice will receive core state funding of €1.5m for our hospice services. This is a first for children’s hospice and palliative care in Ireland. The funding will equate to 30% of the hospice services’ operational costs.
In recent weeks, The Minister for Health also announced an allocation of €750,000 grant funding to LauraLynn in 2020, which was part of the €10m once-off allocation to voluntary hospice bodies contained in the Budget. It brings to €2.25m, the total direct funding for the hospice service in 2020 and 2021.
It costs approximately €5m per year to run our hospice service. Until now, LauraLynn received no direct government funding and this year alone had to raise €4.6m through fundraised income. This recurring annual funding of €1.5m will cover 30% of LauraLynn’s operating costs for our hospice services.
We will continue to rely primarily on fundraised income and all of us at LauraLynn would like to thank our supporters and donors who continue to support our services and who also help to raise awareness about what we do.
This commitment from government will allow us to operate with a sustainable funding model which will ultimately allow us to act on our strategic goals of expanding, extending and enhancing our services in line with demand.
Minister for Health and Wicklow TD, Stephen Donnelly, commented: "It was a great honour to meet with the staff at LauraLynn who are providing incredible care to very sick children. The LauraLynn Children’s Hospice provides invaluable support and services at a difficult and devastating time for families. Not only does LauraLynn deliver world-class healthcare to these children, the staff go above and beyond to ensure that they have the best possible quality of life and also offer compassion and support to the parents, siblings and children themselves."
Minister Donnelly added: “This has been a very challenging year for everyone working in healthcare and I want to commend all of the staff and supporters of LauraLynn who have worked tirelessly to ensure that they could continue to provide services to children during this pandemic, in some cases innovating and adapting to online services. LauraLynn is one of the best and brightest examples of what we can do in this country when we work together.”
Bevan Ritchie, Acting CEO of LauraLynn’s Children’s Hospice, says: "Equitable and timely access to specialist hospice and palliative care services for children with life-limiting conditions has been an under-recognised children’s health issue in Ireland and this commitment to dedicated state funding for our hospice services is greatly welcomed by LauraLynn. It costs approximately €5 million to run our service each year and a commitment of €1.5m in 2021 will help us build a sustainable funding model which will allow us to achieve our strategic goals to meet the unmet demand for children’s hospice and palliative care services in this country."