September 28, 2021

Wicklow Hospice needed €700,000 loan just weeks before it was completed

Wicklow Hospice was given a €700,000 loan just weeks before it was due to open due to a shortfall in funding and an increase in building costs.

Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services (OLH&CS), which manages the facility, was forced to step in to give a loan to the Wicklow Hospice Foundation at the last minute to ensure it opened on time.

According to reports in the Irish Times, However,  OLH&CS’s board was told in December the shortfall could be in the region of  €700k-€1m after the foundation fell €350,000 short of a €600,000 fundraising target.

“The directors noted that it was extremely disappointing and surprising to be advised of a funding shortfall so late in the development,” a spokesperson said, adding that the final amount was €700,000 “due to a shortfall in anticipated fundraising income and increased build costs.”

“It is anticipated that with strong local support, future fundraising from the area will cover this payment when the service is open,” they added.

As well as Wicklow Hospice, which is due to take in patients from April, OLH&CS also manages hospices in Harold’s Cross and Blackrock, south Dublin.

The report also claims that HSE management told OLH&CS it would accept service cuts “if necessary” to make sure it broke even in its budget last year, the board meeting minutes show, after OLH&CS projected an €850,000 budget overrun.

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