MP visit for Southern Area Hospice
Michelle Gildernew MP, former Chair of the Health Committee at Stormont joined party colleague and one of the current local representatives on the Health Committee, Mickey Brady MLA on a visit to Southern Area Hospice Services in Newry this week.
Michelle Gildernew and Mickey Brady then met with senior management for a discussion around the issues currently facing Hospice services in this area.
One of the key issues raised was the financial contribution to hospice care from central and local government. Currently Southern Area Hospice has to raise £2.3 million in 2013 to maintain the level of service they currently provide in the southern region.
Southern Area Hospice relies primarily on the generous support of local people to fund and support hospice services through the in-patient unit in Newry, day therapy facilities in Newry and Dungannon, in-patient hospital care, out-patient services in Daisy Hill, Craigavon area and South Tyrone Hospitals and care in the home facilities.
Southern Area Hospice Director Mrs Anne Cooney said, “We were delighted to welcome Michelle Gildernew MP to the Hospice with her prior experience on the Health Committee and one of our local representatives and supporter of hospice services in this area, Mickey Brady.
“It is important for the Government to realise the reliance services such as Southern Area Hospice have on the generosity of the public and how supporting local charities can be very difficult in austere times. We need Stormont and Westminster to recognise the contribution charity status hospice services make to health service.
Anne added, “We particularly need support with capital funding for building repairs and maintenance, all of which currently we have to fund through applying for grants and other funding streams separately.”
Brady said he and his party colleague were delighted with their visit. “Now that Michelle has moved from Stormont to concentrate on her role as MP, I have no doubt that she will use every opportunity to raise the issue around funding for the Hospice and to champion the work that the Hospice does under very difficult circumstances.
“For my own part as a member of the Health Committee in Stormont, I too will take every opportunity to highlight the importance for continuity for the services provided by Newry Hospice and to highlight the extremely high standard of work carried out by the staff and everyone involved in fund raising efforts.”
For further information about Southern Area Hospice Services please log onto www.southernareahospiceservices.org
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