Frequently asked questions
We have three sites: Harold’s Cross, Blackrock and Wicklow. Our services in Dublin are available to all patients living in any part of Dublin that is south of the Liffey. Our services in Wicklow cover the county of Wicklow excluding West Wicklow, which comes under St. Brigid’s Hospice in Kildare.
As we are Ireland’s largest provider of specialist palliative care, on occasion we work with our Palliative Care colleagues in other parts of the country to help patients with particularly complex needs, who may need admission to one of our Specialist Palliative Care Units.
If the team are offering admission to our in-patient unit and you wish to visit first, please contact our Patient Services Department on 01-406-8790 and this can be arranged.
We always try to be flexible in welcoming family and close friends. Please remember that patients are our priority and from time to time we may need to restrict visiting for particular reasons. Visitors are reminded to respect the privacy and needs of the patient they are visiting and others in our care. Please click here to see our latest visiting requirements.
One of the things people often worry about is the cost of the care they receive. Please note that there are no charges for our Specialist Community Palliative Care services.
- Do patients have to pay for their stay in the in-patient unit?
- No, OLH&CS does not charge patients or next of kin for their stay in the specialist palliative care in-patient unit.
- However, the specialist palliative care in-patient unit is approved by Vhi Healthcare, Laya Healthcare and Irish Life Health for private health insurance and this means that OLH&CS can make claims in respect of patients who have private health insurance cover.
- As such, we would respectfully request that patients who have private health insurance would consider allowing us to make a claim against their stay.
- Please note that any decision on the part of a patient or their next of kin to agree to a private health insurance claim is purely voluntary.
- Why do we ask patients permission to submit a private health insurance claim?
- Every year, OLH&CS provides specialist and person-centred palliative care to approximately 800 patients in our in-patient units in Harold’s Cross and Blackrock Hospices. In 2020, it cost approximately €13 million to provide these specialist palliative care services.
- We are partially funded by the HSE – about 82% of our operational running costs are funded by the State. The balance comes from a number of areas, one of which is private health insurance claims.
- The remaining shortfall, approximately 11% is funded through the generosity of our donors and in 2020, over €5 million was raised through Fundraising to support frontline services.
- Therefore, private health insurance is a vital source of income for OLH&CS as it helps us to bridge the very significant shortfall between the funding we receive and the amount we require to continue to provide our specialist services to those who need them.
- How much can OLH&CS claim per night?
- The amount claimable can depend upon the individual private health insurance policy but the average rate payable to OLH&CS is approximately €700 per night.
- Does claiming on private health insurance or not impact upon a patient’s care?
- Absolutely not. Whether a patient has private health insurance or not or chooses to claim or not, this has no influence on the care received or the type of room provided. All of the bedrooms in our in-patient units are single rooms.
- Will a claim impact on a patient’s insurance?
- No. Please know that a premium is not affected by the number of claims that an individual makes.
- If a private health insurance claim is part-paid or rejected, will a patient receive a bill?
- No. Please know that if a claim is part-paid or rejected by a private health insurance provider, OLH&CS will not send an invoice to a patient or their next of kin.
- Are there a limited number of days that can be claimed for in any healthcare setting?
- Yes. Most plans have an annual cap of 183 days in any 12-month period that a private patient can be an in-patient in a hospital or healthcare setting. Any queries in relation to this can be clarified with your private health insurance provider.
We are here to support and and your loved ones. If you have any queries in relation to making a private health insurance claim in relation to a stay in one of our in-patient units please contact a member of our Patient Services Team on 01 4068790.
We encourage patients to bring in personal items such as photos, art, soft furnishings and other effects which will make them feel more at home in their rooms. Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services however, accepts no responsibility for any lost, stolen or damaged property.
Please note that we cannot take any responsibility for personal items during your time with us. We strongly advise you not to bring any valuables, e.g. jewellery, large amounts of cash (greater than €50), or private documents.
Each patient is provided with a safe. We recommend that patients keep no more than €50 and that they lock it away. The general office operates a system whereby money can be stored safely for residents and accessed during office hours.
Please note that staff are not permitted to hold any cash, valuables or personal documents for patients.
If you are taking any tablets or other medicines, including eye drops, inhalers, patches, gel for pain and supplements, it would be very helpful if you could bring these with you on the day of your admission. If this is not possible, please bring an up to date prescription or medication list with you. This will allow the doctor and pharmacist to know exactly what medicine(s) you are taking and review them, if necessary.
We are not in a position to provide a laundry service to patients and we ask that laundry be taken home by the patient’s relatives / friends.
Patients attending our Services may avail of our Volunteer Driver service. Please contact the Volunteer Department to find out more.
This can vary depending on the appointment. Please contact your care team at the Hospice.
If you are not feeling well when you attend for an onsite appointment, please do not come on site and contact your care team at the Hospice.
There is free Wi-Fi (Internet) connectivity available throughout Blackrock hospice.
We provide three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu choices are taken in advance and snacks and drinks are also offered at regular intervals and upon request. There are vending machines available also.
We have a restaurant facility on site. These facilities are payable locally.
Please note that there is no ATM available. However, cashback up of to €20 is available in our Restaurant during opening hours.
CCTV cameras monitor the hospice both internally and externally. Any security incidents, including items lost or found, should be reported to Security. Security personnel are present on campus 24 hours a day.
There is limited free car parking available for patients and visitors at our Blackrock site.
Should you wish to make a compliment, complaint or raise a concern please speak with a senior member of the team. There are also suggestion boxes available throughout our hospices, into which written complaints or suggestions can be dropped. The boxes are checked regularly, and all suggestions are discussed by the team.
If a resolution cannot be found, the complaint may be directed to the Complaints Officer.Please tell us what you think here.
Patients will receive a ‘Keeping in Touch’ form to share with loved ones. We are unable to contact them unless we have their permission. We ask them to share their details with us so we are allowed to contact them. We can send on information about services they may find helpful and to get valuable feedback on our work. These forms are available from our staff and on our wards or are available here.