New hospital bereavement suite offering a tranquil environment

A new bereavement suite is set to open at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle in January 2016. The suite offers a peaceful, separate space for people to visit after a bereavement, to receive practical help, to be listened to, or to simply sit quietly and remember. Located in Fairfield House within the hospital grounds, the suite will be the base for the lead bereavement nurse, a new post starting in January.

Pictured at a site visit, from the left: Sharon Hind, Operations Manager HMC, Ian Bousie, Architectural Technologist, Anne Roberts, Hospital Chaplain, Lynn Anderson, Chief Matron for Emergency and Medical CareThe bereavement lounge will be an inviting space where family or friends can come to collect a death certificate or patient possessions without having to revisit the ward area where their loved one was cared for. It will also provide privacy for those important conversations with doctors or other staff members. In addition, a room is available for those who are having crucial life-giving conversations about organ or tissue donation.

A multi-faith Quiet Room for prayers and reflection will feature artwork from Veronica Currie, an artist originally from Chile, based in Wigton. Veronica is painting four new banners to celebrate the seasons and the passing of time. She is also producing a unique ceramic tree, where the individually fired and painted leaves can carry the name of someone we have loved and lost.

Anne Roberts, Chaplain at the Cumberland Infirmary, said: “It’s a space designed to be helpful to people of any faith or no faith. This shared space can be a daily reminder that our community here in Cumbria can be both cohesive and supportive. People simply come as they are, with differing beliefs, with hopes and dreams, with their grief or worries. It will be a haven for staff, to just spend a few minutes a day simply ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’.”

The Trust Charitable Funds have already paid for all the building work and funds are now being sought for furniture and artwork.

If you would like to donate towards this project, the Trust would be very thankful. All donations, small or large will be gratefully received.

Cheques are payable to NCUH Charitable Funds (Chapel Fund) and sent to the Finance Department at the Cumberland Infirmary. Gift Aid forms are available from the Finance Office or from the Chapel on the first floor of the Infirmary.

ENDS

For any further information, please contact Andrew Butler, Communications Advisor for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, on 01228 814344.

1. North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is the managing Trust of the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
2. North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS is committed to the NHS Constitution.