The exterior of South Westmeath Hospice.

Hospice issue statement addressing closure rumours

South Westmeath Hospice has said there is no question of the service or unit closing amid amid rumours circulating in the town.

The group has issued the following statement: “The South Westmeath Hospice Committee has been invited to a meeting at the end of August with the HSE in relation to the future of St Vincent’s Hospital and the realignment of the hospice beds.

"The South Westmeath Hospice Committee is aware that a planning application has been submitted by the HSE to build a new 50 bed state- of-the art care centre at the Clonbrusk Primary Care location. It is the committee’s understanding that the HSE will propose to move the hospice facility to this site.

"There is no question of the service or the unit closing. The HSE has assured the South Westmeath Hospice committee that they will be fully consulted about the plans so that the needs of the unit and the provision of hospice beds and services are met. Let us be clear; the South Westmeath Hospice Committee will accept nothing less.

"The South Westmeath Hospice committee has met with local politicians and they stand ready to work with us to ensure this. It is our shared goal to ensure that hospice users and their families will not be affected by this.

"Any scaremongering about the hospice closing, for whatever motivation, is irresponsible and causes unnecessary stress. This issue has and always will remain an emotive topic due to the nature of the care provided within the facility.

"The South Westmeath committee will keep everyone informed with up-to-date factual information as it unfolds and we ask that you not engage in inevitable rumours that may now unfortunately continue.

Following the meeting with the HSE at the end of this month the South Westmeath Hospice will issue a statement.”