Design & Dignity


Transforming End-of-Life Care in Hospitals One Room at a Time

Design & Dignity is grounded in the firm belief that the end of life should be recognised as a time of the most intense human feelings, which can include sadness, loss, anxiety and fear.  These feelings should not have to be endured in inappropriate surroundings: a busy corridor, a waiting room, a ward reception area, where others may be chatting and laughing.

 The aim of Design & Dignity is to:

  • Transform the way hospital spaces are designed for people at the end  of life and their families.
  • Create exemplar end-of-life care facilities in public hospitals and set the standard for other hospitals to follow.
  • Foster a sense of ownership of the hospital environment through engagement with hospital staff in the design process.

Design & Dignity is a partnership project of the Irish Hospice Foundation and Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) Estates.

‘Before we had these rooms, we’d have to bring families from the room where we break the bad news to them on to the corridor’

Cliona O’Beirne, Clinical Nurse Manager, St James Hospital

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Design & Dignity Style Book

  It is a fact that almost half of all people die in acute hospitals. While hospital staff strive to provide the best possible care for people at the end of their lives, the physical environment of hospitals can detract from the dignity afforded to patients and their families. The Design & Dignity style book […] Read more >

Design & Dignity Projects

At its simplest Design & Dignity aims to create warm, welcoming and dignified environments in hospitals for people at the end of their lives. But Design & Dignity is also about inspiring hospital staff and designers to create places of beauty through ‘exemplar’ projects. ‘Exemplar projects’ can be achieved through the careful use of colour, […] Read more >

About Design & Dignity

The Irish Hospice Foundation aims to make the experience of dying as positive as it can be, both for those going through it and for those left behind. In partnership with Ireland’s Health Service Executive we are working with hospital managers and staff to improve care at the end of life. We aim to ensure that […] Read more >

Design & Dignity Video Case Studies

‘The very place where death occurs is likely to be imprinted forever in the minds of the witnesses and survivors…This places a tremendous symbolic importance on the quality of this setting, which attains something of the notion of a sacred place’. Dr Ken Warpole, Design & Dignity Advisor and writer on architecture and social policy, […] Read more >

Design & Dignity News

   Design & Dignity Grant Application Extension Due to the high level of interest in the grants scheme and to facilitate the development of architectural drawings, the deadline for grant applications has been extended to Friday 14th October 2016. Guidance on the type of projects that will be considered for grants and an application form […] Read more >

Design & Dignity Support

  Our vision is to roll out Design & Dignity projects across Ireland and to work to enhance end-of-life care in Irish hospitals, where almost half of all deaths occur.  We have made a start by developing a number of ‘exemplar’ projects in 11 hospitals throughout Ireland, re-designing bereavement suites in emergency departments, upgrading mortuaries, transforming family […] Read more >

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