Monday, April 08, 2019

WHAT with continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of Portlaoise hospital, it’s heartening to see the hospital in a positive light.

Last week, it received a grant from the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF)/HSE Design & Dignity to further develop end-of-life and bereavement care.

Portlaoise is one of only seven hospitals nationwide to have received the funding.

To many, hospitals can be very inhospitable places for recently-bereaved people and families.

Recognising how deeply people are affected by their surroundings, the Design & Dignity project developed a range of exemplar projects within public acute hospitals. To date, more than 40 projects have been funded, transforming older/dated spaces, including family rooms, gardens and mortuaries across Ireland.

Hospital teams have so far created relaxing, spacious family rooms within busy acute wards, upgraded mortuaries into welcoming, respectful environments and redesigned viewing rooms in emergency departments and bereavement suites in maternity units.

The end-of-life committee members in Portlaoise plan to complete a major renovation of the hospital’s mortuary with the funding.

General manager at the hospital, Michael Knowles, said: “The staff are committed to providing compassionate end-of-life care in partnership with bereaved families. The mortuary is a sanctuary and the planned renovations will convey a sense of reverence and respect for life, death and bereavement. Our design will honour the sensitive individuality of each person’s death and the needs of their families. We would also like to acknowledge the work of the team on the ground here, who have worked tirelessly to secure this funding.”

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