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, lighting, artwork, acoustics, fabrics, furnishing and planting. Exemplar projects should include ‘something beautiful’ as a focal point to the space, such as a piece of artwork, sculpture or if space permits a small garden.  The rooms should be inspiring, places of beauty.

With Design & Dignity projects well underway throughout the country we are beginning to see cluttered rooms and dreary facilities transformed into tranquil spaces where families may gather or can be with a deceased relative in appropriate surroundings.

Projects completed to date include:

  • family rooms on medical wards that can be used to break bad news or as a place of retreat
  • mortuary renovations
  • viewing suites in the Emergency Department, where the bereaved can be with their deceased loved one
  • waiting areas
  • maternity units

Family Rooms


Connolly Hospital

 “This is an absolutely invaluable facility, we will be forever grateful for having the opportunity to stay close to Mam” – Relative

Mater Hospital

Honestly, I can’t describe the benefit of the room. You can see the stress lift from relatives when they come into the room…it has given us all great pride in our work and in our caring for these families” – Palliative Care Nurse

Nenagh Hospital

“It was just lovely that we had somewhere to go that wasn’t a hospital ward or room” – Relative

 Navan Hospital

 “Thank you for the use of this family room, it really was such a Godsend in our hour of need during Ray’s last four days and nights. It was somewhere we could rest, reflect, cry, be silent, be together as a family as well as the practical side of being able to lie down and sleep, have a shower and of course have many a cuppa tea or coffee” – Relative

 Portiuncala Hospital

“We never left Jim alone day and night – we took turns. Without the family room a difficult time would have been almost impossible. We cannot thank you all enough for your kindness and support, we are eternally grateful. It was beautiful and perfect.” – Relative

 Roscommon Hospital

“We really appreciate this fine facility – it gives space and calmness at a time of difficulty” – Relative

 St. John’s Hospital, Limerick

“The family room is a vital part to running a busy critical care unit….and without it, it would be almost impossible to facilitate families as well as we can” – Palliative Nurse

 St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny

“Thank you for this space to breathe, to think, to mourn for our mother” – Relative

Mortuary Renovations


Mercy University Hospital Mortuary

“Life is a journey and we hope that for those who have ended their journey in our hospital that it was compassionate, peaceful and with dignity. We know that our project will act as an exemplar project for future developments in end-of-life care nationally” – Sandra Day, Chief Executive, Mercy University Hospital

“This building has. . . given us a space that is dignified, that is bright, that is airy, that’s embracing of all religions and none” – Margaret McKiernan, Director of Nursing, Mercy University Hospital

Limerick Hospital Mortuary

Beaumont Hospital Mortuary


Sligo Hospital Mortuary


Roscommon Hospital Mortuary

Dooradoyle Hospital Mortuary

Viewing Suites


St. James’ Hospital

‘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


Waiting Areas


Mater Hospital


Back to the Top