Minister Poots praises ‘invaluable contribution’ during visit to Hospice

February 24, 2014

During a visit to Southern Area Hospice in Newry on Wednesday, Health Minister Edwin Poots was given a tour of the facility and had the opportunity to meet with local people who use the Hospice and its services.

The Minister met with the Southern Area Hospice’s Senior Management team to discuss some of the key issues currently facing the Hospice. One of the issues raised was that of capital funding and the substantial building repairs and maintenance required in the St John’s facility, all of which have to be funded separately through grant applications and other funding streams.

The Southern Area Hospice also currently has to raise £2.3 million in 2014 to maintain the level of service it currently provides in the southern region.

Ann Cooney, Chief Executive of the Southern Area Hospice said, “We are delighted that Minister Poots took the time to come and visit our facility in Newry and experience the tremendous work our staff carry out throughout the Southern Trust area. Visits such as this are vitally important in highlighting the contribution that the Hospice provides to support health and social care services as well as the financial pressures which a charity like us faces on a daily basis”.

Speaking during the visit, Mr Poots said: “Hospices play an important part in delivering excellence in end of life care as patients live with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. I am committed to more personalised care for people at the end of life whether that is in a hospital, hospice or community setting. The Southern Area Hospice is an excellent example of how this care should be provided”.

The Minister added, “The contribution and support which organisations like the Southern Area Hospice offer to the Health Service are invaluable. Working in partnership with the voluntary and community sector is essential to sustain quality end of life care for many people. Visits like this bring the services that are provided by the voluntary and community sector into focus and bring a new perspective to us in the Department.”

Southern Area Hospice Services include an Inpatient Unit, Outpatient Clinics in Newry, Craigavon and Dungannon, Day Hospice Units in Newry and Dungannon, a Palliative Care team in Daisy Hill Hospital, the Donaldson Counselling and Therapy Centre, Home Care, Social Work team, and a Community Liaison Nurse. Through these services, care is provided by a multi-disciplinary specialist team consisting of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, chaplains, social workers, complementary therapists, pharmacists, dieticians and occupational therapists.

For further information on the Southern Area Hospice Services please visit