The Minister for Health has announced €10m in once-off funding for palliative and end-of-life care in 2020 to deal with the challenges posed by Covid-19. 

Stephen Donnelly said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, especially those who are vulnerable, their families and those who care for them."

The funding can be used for improvements to premises, facilities and ICT systems, telehealth and telemedicine platforms, education and training programmes. It could also cover lost income due to reduced fundraising.

Mr Donnelly said that "hospices and other providers of palliative care have really stepped up to support people with palliative and end-of-life care needs and their families during this most difficult time.

"They have also supported acute hospitals and community health services, including nursing homes, to meet the rising demand for palliative and end-of-life care associated with Covid-19. 

"At the same time their fundraising activities have unfortunately been curtailed due to the pandemic, impacting on their capacity to maintain their vital services."

Of the €10m, €8.5m will be distributed to the members of the Voluntary Hospice Group.

In addition, €350,000 will be provided for specialist palliative home care in the South East, €750,000 will be granted to the Laura Lynn Hospice, and €400,000 will be distributed equally between the Irish Hospice Foundation, the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society.