New £5m palliative care unit opens

Published Thursday, 08 March 2012
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A first of its kind new palliative care unit has opened at Antrim Area Hospital.

New £5m palliative care unit opens
The centre has 12 en suite rooms and facilities for relatives. (© Pacemaker)

The £5m Macmillan Unit was jointly funded by the Northern Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support fundraisers.

It is hoped the centre, which has 12 en-suite rooms and facilities for relatives, will provide services for up to 90,000 patients per year.

Health Minister Edwin Poots was at the launch on Thursday morning.

"How we care for those at the end of their lives says much about what type of society we aim to be and that is why excellent palliative care provision is a vital part of the health service today," the DUP minister said.

"This unit shows what can be achieved through the vision, hard work, dedication, compassion and above all the determination to meet the palliative and end of life care needs of the people who we have the privilege to care for.

"This new unit is open to all those needing palliative care, not just cancer patients, and it a credit to those who had the vision and drive to create it."

Just over £2m of the funding was provided by Macmillan.

Mr Poots said the charity has brought "substantial added value" to the project, with their experience of palliative care and other cancer treatment facilities across the UK.

He continued: "This new unit is an excellent example of joint working with the voluntary sector. Macmillan has provided funding to support the development and running of the unit.

"This partnership is important and offers real opportunities to improve services for people across Northern Ireland.

"It means that the right care is there at the right time, maximising people's capacity for choice and control.

"I want to see everyone having the chance to be supported in their place of choice."

© UTV News
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2 Comments
Sarah in Bangor wrote (928 days ago):
"How we care for those at the end of their lives says much about what type of society we aim to be" the DUP minister said.' Is that right Mr Poots? ...... what about those who seek to extend their life, like having decent A&E departments who do not leave our elderly and vulnerable lying for hours on trolleys with no access to toileting food, drink or communication?? I invite Mr Poots to lie on a trolley for 34 hours and see how comfortable these trolleys really are!! Whilst laudable, there are so many other issues that should be addressed as well
Phil in Belfast wrote (929 days ago):
"How we care for those at the end of their lives says much about what type of society we aim to be" the DUP minister said.' Is that right Mr Poots? Then why are people being denied life saving and life extending drugs? People suffering from cancer are having to go to court and fight for the right to get these drugs. It's a disgrace.
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