Milford Care Centre is the lead organisation that provides a comprehensive range of services for the elderly and palliative care patients in the Mid West Region. In tandem with the growing requirement for specialist palliative care in the community, it expanded its existing and limited community-based services in 2006 to include a specialist 'Hospice at Home' service for patients who require palliative care in their own homes. With inputs from a multi-disciplinary clinical team, the Hospice at Home Service delivered by Milford Care Centre represents the first service of its kind within the Republic of Ireland.
The Hospice at Home Service is supported by funding from the HSE and donations from the public, as well as a significant donation from The Atlantic Philanthropies. A condition of the funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies was that the Service would be evaluated, thus providing Milford Care Centre with research information regarding various of aspects of the service, including the viewpoints of carers and patients.
In 2009, Milford Care Centre commissioned the University of Limerick to undertake an independent evaluation of the Hospice at Home Service, with the aim of examining whether it offered a viable and effective model for delivering a range of palliative care services to patients and their families in the community. The evaluation was conducted between February 2009 and June 2011. It should be noted that an evaluation of the cost effectiveness of the Service was also commissioned and will be undertaken by another group.