The newly refurbished mortuary and bereavement suite officially re-opened last Tuesday (22nd October 2019) at the Regional Hospital Mullingar, following a €287,000 refurbishment programme. The new facility includes a fully refurbished viewing room, a new bereavement suite with additional viewing area and a family room for patients and families at the hospital.
The current Regional Hospital Mullingar Mortuary location was originally opened in 1989. In 2016 the Mortuary Bereavement Refurbishment Group with support from the hospital End-of-Life Care Committee applied for a Design & Dignity Grant; with the aim of creating a more quiet, tranquil restful space for bereaved families to be together.
Funding of €240,000 was secured through the Irish Hospice Foundation’s (IHF) and HSE Estates’s Design & Dignity programme. Regional Hospital Mullingar also contributed €40,000 to the complete upgrade and refurbishment of facilities.
Speaking of the opening Hospital General Manager Anita Brennan Said: “We are delighted to be able to deliver this newly refurbished Mortuary. Loss and bereavement is something that affects us all. It can be a daily occurrence for the caring staff at the Regional Hospital Mullingar and so we welcome this very important upgraded addition to our facilities.”
“It is vitally important as we continue our journey towards ensuring absolute dignity at end of life for our patients and their families and friends. We are indebted to and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Irish Hospice Foundation and the HSE Design and Dignity group without whom this project could not have happened. Also, I would like to recognise and thank the hard work and dedication to the project by the Hospital’s Mortuary Project and Maintenance Teams and the HSE Estates team whose coordinated efforts have delivered a wonderful quality outcome for all.”
CEO of the IHF Sharon Foley, who officially opened the new facility today said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those involved in bringing this project to fruition. By focusing on the needs of bereaved families through this design, there is now a space that will support and respect them in their time of need. Design & Dignity brings design excellence to hospitals where so many people spend their last days. We’re aiming to create sanctuaries for patients and families at a very distressing time, and allow them the proper space and privacy they need. Thanks to the leadership and support of HSE Estates we have funded over 40 hospitals projects across Ireland to date, including 13 mortuary projects.”
Speaking at today’s opening, Chair of the End-of-Life Committee at Regional Hospital Mullingar, Katherine Kenny said: “We are privileged to be present with families at the most difficult times of their lives, this refurbishment work will enhance our ability to provide support in a truly respectful and tranquil environment.”
Assistant National Director of HSE Estates is John Browner: “We are committed to continuing to provide much needed private, respectful and dignified spaces for patients, families and staff during difficult times through the Design & Dignity initiative. We are working to ensure that end-of-life care, within the wider hospital environment, is a key focus of capital development and investment in healthcare.”