Making collaborations work at national level – a cross jurisdiction approach to improving palliative care on the island of Ireland

Paddie Blaney

Paddie Blaney, Director, All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care

Paddie Blaney, Director, All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care

Aiming to improve the experience of people in Ireland and Northern Ireland was the vision of twelve organisational partners (care providers and academic departments) who, through their leadership, established the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC).

The strategic leadership challenge they faced was massive and compounded by the historical, physical and perceived borders between two jurisdictions. There are two separate jurisdictions on the island of Ireland – Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. AIIHPC brings together these two separate hospice and palliative care communities, which are governed by two separate governments, two different departments of health, work from two different budgets and are guided by different health and social care policies. Despite the perceived challenges that the establishment of an all Ireland entity could bring, it was recognised that there was great potential and much to be achieved by working collectively and collaboratively.

Enduring vision and resilience have now resulted in a globally unique development that works to achieve the partners’ bold vision by simultaneously addressing research, education, policy and practice aspects – a unique combination with arguably the best potential yet to make real progress in building capacity, effecting change and achieving the goal of more and better care for the population here. Threaded throughout all aspects of the Institute’s work is the exciting aim of giving real voice to users, carers and communities – the focus of the whole endeavour.

After a first year of establishment and recruiting a team who engage with and will live the vision, AIIHPC is moving ahead with various activities aimed at achieving its bold goal, as well as working in partnership with the many interested parties and securing its place in key policy and decision making arenas. Formal launches were held in October 2011 in Dublin and Belfast reflecting our all-encompassing, all-island status.

I strongly feel that the work of the Institute will make meaningful contributions and enhance the development of the hospice and palliative care communities, North and South.

Find out more…
Click here  for more information on the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care or email us. Or contact Emma Ross, Communications and Information Manager, All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, 2nd Floor, Education and Research Centre, Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6, Ireland.
Telephone: + 353 (0)1 4912948; mobile: + 353 (0)86 3678591; Email:

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