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The Kerry Specialist Palliative Care Service (KSPCS) provided is currently a single consultant led 24/7 on-call service which has proven of immense value to the hospital and community in improving palliative care services.  The service is currently provided in the following settings:

  • Specialist Palliative Community Care Service

  • Specialist  Palliative Day Care Service

  • Specialist Palliative Acute Care Service


The Kerry Community Specialist Palliative Care Service is delivered by two teams. The two teams are attributed to the large geographical spread of the county and its population. One team is based in the Specialist Palliative Care Unit in UHK covering North Kerry and the second team is based in Killarney Community Hospital delivering a service to South Kerry.

This service delivers a five day week Monday to Friday Service and an on-call service at the weekend in the patients place of residence.  This may be the patients home, community hospital or private nursing home.  In the community, the specialist palliative care team work closely with the General Practitioner, Public


Health Nurse community hospitals and nursing homes.  This service is set to extend to a 7 day service in the near future.


The Specialist Palliative Day Care Unit is located on the grounds of UHK which opened in 2007 is the hub of the palliative care service. The service provides a mixed medical/social/supportive model of care. Staffing of the unit includes a CNM II, RGNs, Healthcare Assistants, Porters, Administration, Allied Health Professionals including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy. There is also access to Pastoral Care and Speech and Language Therapy, Social Work and Dietetic Services. Specialist Palliative Day Care offers complimentary therapies two days a week and weekly sessions with a psychotherapist. The service also provides volunteer services including hairdressing, beauty therapy and creative arts.

The Specialist Palliative Day Care Unit in Kerry opens four days per week, two days per week – holistic multidisciplinary day care and two days per week – multidisciplinary outpatient clinic.  On average 10-15 patients attend daily.


The acute specialist palliative care service includes a Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Registrar, Senior House Officer, one Clinical Nurse Specialist, one Social Worker and access to administrative support.


Demand for the above Services has underlined the need for the provision of appropriate inpatient accommodation for Palliative Care. Among the key proposals in the National Action Plan for Palliative Care Services (2009) was the provision of a 15 bed Specialist Inpatient Palliative Unit in Kerry.  This was further enforced in the National Palliative Care Service Plan 2013, endorsed by the Minister for Health which stated that, ‘HSE South in collaboration with Kerry Hospice Foundation will progress the development of the satellite Inpatient Unit in Palliative Medicine at Kerry General Hospital’. This Unit opened in 2017 and was developed with the support of the Kerry Hospice Foundation. 

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