Cystic Fibrosis Ireland Calls on Government to Honour its Commitment for New CF In-Patient Unit at Beaumont Hospital Amid Increasing Costs Caused by Delays
CFI advised cost of unit has climbed from €11m to €12m
Demand comes at Launch of Annual 65 Roses Day Appeal as
Keelin Shanley & Joe Brolly Show their “Flower Power” for CF
Date of issue: immediate
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) has today pleaded with Government to give the long-awaited final go-ahead for the new 20-bed cystic fibrosis (CF) in-patient unit at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital. CFI is concerned that delays are causing an increase in building costs for the unit and come against the backdrop of the continued uncertainty on the impact of the National Children’s Hospital budgetary overrun. The call came at the launch of CFI’s annual 65 Roses Day fundraising appeal which is taking place on Friday 12th April when people will be urged to lend their support to the CF cause by buying a Purple Rose for €2 or donating online at 65RosesDay.ie.
The launch in Dublin’s Herbert Park saw RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley and GAA commentator Joe Brolly swap their day jobs to join Dublin flower stall traders, Gerry and Mags Draper, as purple rose flower-sellers. On hand to lend their support were Alfie Dardis, age 6, from Stepaside, who has CF, and his best friend, Ava Casserly, age 6, from Dundrum. 65 Roses Day derives its name from the way in which young children often first say the words "cystic fibrosis", with funds going to provide a range of much-needed services for people with CF and their families.
Time for Action
Philip Watt, Chief Executive, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, said it is only fair that the CF community is now given a firm date as to when the 20-bed inpatient unit in Beaumont Hospital will commence and be completed. He said delays are only serving to make the unit more expensive to build:
“The Government promised a new CF unit for Beaumont Hospital in its Programme for Government and here we are almost three years later and we are still waiting for the final go-ahead. Cystic Fibrosis Ireland is calling on the Government to clarify when the building will commence and when it will be completed. We know that there have been positive developments recently with the setting up of a building steering group and planning permission is expected soon. However, where the original cost of the unit was €11m, we are now advised that it is closer to €12m and it will likely increase further with more delays – this against the backdrop of the continued uncertainty on the long-term impact of the National Children’s Hospital budgetary overrun.
“With just seven in-patient rooms now and a CF population of 160, it means a ratio of approximately 23 patients for every bed. These delays, coupled with the current facilities which are run-down through over-use, risk compromising people’s health. Ireland has the highest incidence of CF and some of the most severe types in the world. It is vital that Beaumont Hospital, as one of the five national adult specialist centres for CF, meets the required standards in terms of patient care and facilities. Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and local charity CF Hopesource have committed to raising €1m to help fund the facility. Cystic Fibrosis Ireland stands ready to do its bit. We need Government to do its bit too without further delay.”
There are almost 1,400 people living with CF in Ireland and the number is increasing each year as a result of improvements in treatment and care. CFI depends almost entirely on the public for the provision of its services and this 65 Roses Day is hoping to raise more than €120,000 for much-needed services for people with CF. These include providing patient grants for counselling, fertility treatment, and transplant assessment, covering the cost of a number of CF clinical staff in hospitals, and helping to fund the building of the new CF in-patient unit at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
Be Part of the CF News Story
Having reported on the lives of people with CF, and the challenges that they face, it is important for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland ambassador, and RTÉ Six One news anchor, Keelin Shanley, to lend her support:
“I have seen and heard first-hand many times the heart-breaking stories of people living with cystic fibrosis and their families. The simple act of breathing in and out – something which the rest of us perhaps can sometimes take for granted – can be Herculean. Given the daily Everest they climb, it is perhaps not surprising how formidable and impressive people with cystic fibrosis are in their resolve to live their lives to the full and to let nothing hold them back. As a journalist, my role is to observe and report on a story. But as citizens, I firmly believe that we all have a duty to be part of that story by making that load a little lighter and to make our country a better place for people with cystic fibrosis. You can do that by the simple act of buying a purple rose for €2 on 65 Roses Day, Friday 12th April.”
Keelin is fronting a nationwide media campaign, supported by the project management company, Malone Group, to help raise public awareness of the fundraising appeal.
A Purple Rose Goes a Long Way
Well-known GAA commentator, Joe Brolly, is a long-time ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and an ardent advocate for soft opt-out organ donation:
“We know according to research that, in the unfortunate situation of their untimely death, most people in this country would want to donate their organs and to pass on the gift of life to up to eight people. I am delighted that the Government intends to introduce soft opt-out organ donation, where the presumption is that people will want to donate their organs, unless they opt out or their family declines. This is huge progress as while we may have the best of intentions when it comes to organ donation, more often than not we just don’t get around to registering that intent. It will also help to address the sharp fall in deceased donors over the past couple of years, and an increase in the number of people on the lung transplant waiting list since 2015. Of course, the simple gift of wearing a purple rose on 65 Roses Day, Friday 12th April, or donating online at 65RosesDay.ie, is something that we can all do now and will go a long way to improving the lives of people with cystic fibrosis.”
People can support 65 Roses Day by:
- Buying a purple rose for €2 from volunteers, and in participating shopping centres and Spar Stores, or by donating online at 65RosesDay.ie
- Completing a 65 Roses Challenge such as playing 65 holes of golf non-stop, or baking 65 muffins for a bake sale at work, or having 65 friends and neighbours around for afternoon tea – for details visit 65RosesDay.ie
- Texting 65ROSES to 50300 for €2 [Text costs €2. Cystic Fibrosis Ireland will receive a minimum of €1.80. Service Provider: LIKE CHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.]