Marymount University Hospital & Hospice (“Marymount”) provides specialist palliative care services and services to care for dependent older people. Its origins date back to 1870 with its foundation by the Religious Sisters of Charity in Cork. The original hospital was built on the north side of the city but the service relocated in 2011 to purpose-built, modern, high-quality facilities in Curraheen, Cork. Marymount is an independent voluntary hospital with University status and is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. It is a section 39 organisation under the Health Act 2004 and works closely with the statutory health services in the provision of care services. Marymount is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors and is staffed by a CEO and 284 whole-time equivalents.
As the specialist palliative care service for Cork city and county, Marymount Hospice serves as a centre for coordinating the delivery of palliative care services across all care settings in Cork. It is also closely allied to the specialist palliative care services in Kerry and may also provide services for adjacent counties which have no in-patient unit. The services are consultant-led and comprise a 44-bed in-patient unit, St Luke’s Day Care service (three days per week), an out-patient department (including a specialist pain intervention service), community-based services and bereavement and family support services. The in-patient unit is predominately an adult palliative care service but children are cared for by Marymount’s community-based services and are also supported by the bereavement and family support services.
Community-based services are consultant-led with Marymount providing an advisory service to support patients who choose to be cared for at home, in a local community hospital or nursing home (excluding acute hospitals). The service is predominantly delivered by Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) in Palliative Care with support from a multi-disciplinary team which includes Family Support, Pastoral Care and Physiotherapy. A satellite team is based in Bantry General Hospital to serve West Cork. Bereavement and Family Support services (comprising social, psychological and spiritual support services) provide support and advice to patients, their families and carers. These include counselling services, bereavement support for adults and children (groups and meetings etc.), support for families and friends and Pastoral Care. The medical staff at Marymount also provide Specialist Palliative Care services to four acute hospitals in Cork.
For older people, Marymount Hospital provides long term care, respite care and palliative care support with 63 beds over three wards. Marymount’s services for older people have a reputation for excellence in care and for best-in-class facilities.
In 1987, Marymount established an education and research centre for the purpose of providing academic, continuing professional development and in-service education to all staff. It was named the Mary Aikenhead Education Centre. The centre is part of the service provided to the specialist palliative care unit and we are proud to align ourselves closely with our partners at University College Cork. Our education centre also offers education and research services to external organisations and individuals and is recognised by undergraduate and post-graduate training bodies across healthcare disciplines. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses, UCC Accredited Modules, E-Learning Programmes and conferences are offered.
With excellent educational facilities (auditorium, tutorial and lecture rooms), Marymount also offers rooms for hire. It has a library which is available to all hospital personnel and students attending courses or on placement.
Marymount is a registered charity and fulfils a core social need – the provision of care to those with a life-limiting illness and their families. The financial viability of Marymount’s services is assisted through essential fundraising endeavours and a strong fundraising legacy has been established.
Since the very beginning – during the initial building works of St Patrick’s Hospital on Wellington Road in the mid-nineteenth century we have been reliant on fundraising assistance and donations from the public. The Friends of Marymount, an established group of volunteers and members of the Religious Sisters of Charity raised huge fundraising income to facilitate the new build and development from 1980 to 2016.
Due to the significant growth in demand for our services, the need for fundraising income has increased in recent years. The Friends of Marymount and the Hospital/Hospice entities amalgamated in 2016 and 2017 to ensure compliance with CRA regulations and a new Fundraising & Communications Department was established in Marymount at the beginning of 2017.
This Fundraising and Communications Department now raise €3 million each year to support and sustain Marymount’s current level of service provision.