Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, joined LauraLynn, Ireland’s only Children’s Hospice, to officially mark the opening of our new community-based service operating from Cork, bringing specialist hospice care and supports into the homes of children with life-limiting conditions and their families across the region.
LauraLynn has seen a doubling of referrals accepted to the service nationally following the growth of our services in the Leinster region and the establishment of the new service in Mallow, Cork, bringing care into the homes of children and families across that region for the first time. In addition to hospice care in the home, families are being offered in-hospice care and support in our purpose-built facility in Dublin.
In the Cork and Kerry region, referrals have surged by 100% since news of the opening of the new service was announced in the Summer. Since then, more than 115 home visits and 189 hours of care have been delivered by the team of five Nurses and one Music Therapist. The team is set to grow further in 2023.
LauraLynn has a multi-disciplinary team working both in its Cork service and from its Dublin base providing care and supports to whole family units, including parents, siblings, grandparents, and the wider family. Medical care is provided along with additional palliative care supports including, Music Therapy, Play Therapy, Counselling and Bereavement Care.
Speaking at the official launch of the Cork Service, Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, commented: "I am delighted to be here to officially mark the opening of LauraLynn’s Cork based service and meet with some of the team and families. It’s wonderful to hear the incredible impact having services available close to home makes and is an important step on our goal to ensure universal access to palliative care."
Sandra O’Malley, Chairperson of LauraLynn, said: "It is an honour to be here today meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin as we officially mark the opening of our new service here in Cork. This new community-based service is bringing our specialist hospice care and supports into the homes of children and families across the region which is vital and transformative for so many of these families. Research suggests that there are more than 3,840 children living in Ireland with life limiting conditions and up to 720 of these children require specialised hospice care as their health is unstable, deteriorating or at end-of-life so we know that there are still many children that need specialist care and don’t have it close to home yet. As leaders in children’s hospice care, LauraLynn have an ambitious growth strategy with this new service being phase one of reaching more of that need. We are exploring additional growth opportunities in other regions where we know there is a high need. Our goal is to be there for every child and family who need hospice and palliative care and supports."
LauraLynn has cared for more than 640 children with palliative care needs and their families from across Ireland since opening in 2011. The charity is currently supporting over 460 children and families across Ireland including specialised care and supports to bereaved families.