Acclaimed designer Louise Kennedy returned to her native Tipperary today (12th March) to open the first family room in Nenagh Hospital which is for relatives of patients who are seriously ill or near the end of life and those families who are bereaved.
The room was funded under the Design & Dignity Grants Fund which is operated and co- funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) and the Health Service Executive (HSE).The new facility cost approximately €35,000 from the Design & Dignity Fund
The Design & Dignity Fund was instigated in October 2010.A total of 11 projects in acute hospitals countrywide are being supported by the Fund and so far five facilities have been completed.
Located near the main entrance to the hospital, the new family room was created from combining two small rooms’ measuring12sq meters in total. The clever use of space has allowed the hospital to have a tea and coffee making facility, a couch, armchairs and a “pull out” bed should relatives wish to stay overnight near their dying loved one.
Speaking at the opening, Louise Kennedy commented: “” Our Late father Jimmy Kennedy spent time in Nenagh Hospital, he received amazing care from the very dedicated nursing team who also gave my family the support we needed at a very vulnerable and anxious time. It is such a welcome facility that Nenagh Hospital now has a family room for loved ones to grieve privately and to be in a calm and peaceful environment.”
Ann Doherty, CEO of UL Hospitals, commented: “Families need a private dignified space during this most critical time. Today we are pleased to open a new facility that will offer some comfort to families when they need us most. They can stay day and night while their loved one is coming to the end of their lives. Nenagh Hospital is committed to improving end-of-life care. We aim to ensure that patients and families who are with us during their final journey will have a peaceful and dignified experience.”
NenaghHospital’s Specialist Palliative Care Nurse Carmel Sheehy was instrumental in the development of this room, said: “This family room was both a practical and a profound project. It involved a lot of skilled people working collaboratively on every aspect of this facility: design, interior colours, lighting, artwork, acoustics, fabrics and furnishings. We are proud of what has been created and hope this small but dignified space will demonstrate our compassionate care for families. ”
Joe Hoare, Estates Manager, commented: “This project is a product of the ongoing collaboration with the Irish Hospice Foundation on the built environment. The objective was to compliment the culture of care being fostered in the hospital by providing a dedicated space for the benefit of families and also to set an example for others to follow.”.
Mary Lovegrove, Manager of the HFH programme, remarked: ‘The Design & Dignity Fund aims to bring design excellence to hospitals in which so many people spend the last days of their lives. The evidence shows that good design can have a very positive impact on how we experience death and dying. We congratulate the hospital management, members of the Nenagh’s End-of-Life Care Committee, the staff at Nenagh Hospital, HSE Estates, Julian O’Mahony of Collins Building & Civil Engineering Ltd and architect Magdalena Kubat for all the hard work it took to complete this project. We hope that this family room will inspire similar projects in other hospitals in the region.‘
The 50 guests at the opening included the CEO and other senior management of HSE Mid West; members of the Service Users Group of the hospital; the builders and architects involved in the project; heads of department from Nenagh hospital and other sites in the mid west region; the Friends of Nenagh Hospital and members of North Tipperary Hospice.