Another meeting on the issue will take place in September.
The HSE is re-affirming a commitment to provide at least four palliative care beds in a new community nursing unit in Westmeath.
The promise came during a meeting with members of South Westmeath Hospice Committee and the Regional Health Forum.
They've also agreed to listen to a proposal to incorporate the current hospice unit into the new site at another meeting in September.
Secretary of South Westmeath Hospice Board Joe Whelan outlines the agenda of that meeting:
In a joint statement, the HSE and South Westmeath Hospice said:
Representatives of South Westmeath Hospice Committee and Members of the Regional Health Forum met with officials from the HSE in St. Vincent’s Care Centre on August 5th 2020.
At the outset of this meeting, Chief Officer of Community Health Organisation Area 8, Mr. Pat Bennett, stated that he was meeting with the Hospice Committee in a spirit of cooperation.
Mr Bennett also stated that the HSE wants to meet the needs of the people of Athlone.
Chairperson of South Westmeath Hospice, Clare Lennon, outlined the willingness of the committee to work in partnership to address issues raised by the transfer of services to the new Clonbrusk Community Nursing Unit and welcomed this meeting and subsequent scheduled meetings planned as a forum to progress matters to a satisfactory conclusion for all.
Following a frank and honest discussion the HSE committed to the provision of four palliative care beds in the new unit, which is a positive starting point on which to build.
The meeting also agreed that HSE Estates will link with South Westmeath Hospice appointed Engineering Company, Malachy Cullen Consulting Engineers, to reconfigure plans to accommodate the current Hospice Unit, which will be presented for discussion by both parties at the next meeting on the agreed date of 17th September.
The outcome of this meeting is an encouraging start to future collaboration and indicates a willingness from both parties to ensure a quality physical infrastructure from which delivery of impactful provision will benefit the population of Athlone and hinterland.