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Dying in Hospital in Ireland: An Assessment of the Quality of Care in the Last Week of Life, Final Synthesis Report

May 1, 2010

The context of this report is set by the fact that most people die in a hospital or similar setting, outside the home. When you consider that most people are also born in hospital, and may spend some time there over the course of a lifetime, it becomes clear that hospitals are central to our passage into life and out of it, touching people at the most important and intimate moments of their lives. In this sense, the work of hospitals mirrors the cycle of life and the expectations of society about its role at each stage of the life cycle.The report assesses the quality of care provided by Irish hospitals in the last week of life. The word 'hospital' shares a common linguistic root with words like hospice and hospitality. Hospitality -- understood as being welcomed and cared for with kindness and attentiveness -- is still what everyone seeks when they come to hospital, including patients and their families who are going through the journey of dying, death and bereavement. That is why the Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme (2007-2012) commissioned this first ever national audit of end-of-life care in Irish hospitals.This report contributes to the growing practice within the Irish hospital system of auditing performance against standards in order to ensure that every aspect of its work meets, and even exceeds, the highest standards of care and excellence. Given that end-of-life care standards did not exist at the time the audit -- but have since been published as Quality Standards for End-of-Life Care in Hospitals1 -- it may be more appropriate to regard this report as a "pre-audit" or "baseline-audit". It is Government policy, since February 2009, to introduce a mandatorylicensing system whereby each hospital will only be allowed to practice if, on the basis of audited performance, it meets acceptable quality standards of service.

Minority Children Fund: Evaluation Report

February 1, 2009

This reports evaluates the efforts of The Minority Children Fund in Ireland. The Minority Children Fund is a one-year, once-off, grant scheme to support the inclusion of minority children in the activities and services of youth and sports organisations. The fund was set up and distributed in 2007. Seventeen organisations throughout Ireland were awarded a grant to promote the inclusion of minority children in their activities during 2008/9. A total of €525,735 was distributed in two funding streams: large grants and small grants. Three organisations received large grants amounting to €285,050 in total, equivalent to 54% of the fund. Fourteen organisations received small grants amounting to €240,685 in total, equivalent to 46% of the fund.In view of these two funding streams, it was decided to separately evaluate each stream while nevertheless providing an integrated summary and conclusion. As a result, the report is divided into four parts:Part One: Context for the EvaluationPart Two: Evaluation of Large GranteesPart Three: Evaluation of Small GranteesPart Four: Summary and Conclusion.

Educational Disadvantage in Ireland

July 1, 2004

This report discusses various ways to measure educational disadvantage. The precise way in which educational disadvantage is measured also influences the type of targets set to address it. The National Anti-Poverty Strategy has set three key targets in the area of educational disadvantage: Educational disadvantage is a significant problem at all levels of the education system and is influenced by the characteristics of families, schools, neighbourhoods and by broader public policies. There is a substantial amount of activity which is endeavouring to address educational disadvantage in Ireland. However, relatively little is known about what works, and this suggests that projects with the potential to produce lessons about effectiveness would be particularly worth considering. Outlined are a selection of project ideas which address educational disadvantage from which lessons may be learned about effective ways of doing this work.

The Changing Face of The Family in Ireland: Parenting Issues

January 1, 2004

This report examines family policy in Ireland, highlighting the substantial amount of service activity which are currently supporting families and, at the same time, the general awareness that significant gaps exist in services. Consequently, Mckeown and Clarke outline a selection of project ideas which might be used to fill some of these gaps, particularly with regard to supporting parents. These are based on a consideration of the statutory initiatives in place, some broadly focussed voluntary organisations and voluntary activity at local level.

Integrating New Communities - Challenging Racism

January 1, 2004

In this report, the needs of new people hoping to settle in Ireland, and how these are responded to, provides the context in which racism in Ireland can be considered and one in which to identify opportunities where funding could make an important difference. This research considers the patterns of migration to Ireland and the likely future trends with reference to the particular groups of people who are choosing Ireland as a country in which to make a new life. Furthermore, this research explores what is known about racism in Ireland, and the initiatives currently being undertaken to combat racism are set out.

Male Mental Health in Ireland

January 1, 2004

The prevalence of mental illness can be difficult to measure accurately and estimates often rely on the numbers using services, a notoriously risky method of assessment because the people who use services are often not truly reflective of the total population for whom the particular was designed. This is particularly the case with male mental illness because of the well-documented reluctance of men to use health services for either physical or mental illness. This report discusses how the mental health needs of men are generally understood and how services have responded to them, drawing particularly on developments within Ireland. Identified are some of the key challenges in this area by highlighting some of the gaps in services and some of the opportunities which these offer.