University Hospital Limerick awarded Irish Hospice Foundation/HSE Design & Dignity grant

University Hospital Limerick awarded

University Hospital Limerick awarded grant – Pictured at the launch of the Evaluation of the Design & Dignity Programme in Dublin are Denis Casey (End-of-Life Care Coordinator, UL Hospitals) and architect Kevin Jackson. Photograph by Justin Farrelly

University Hospital Limerick awarded Irish Hospice Foundation/HSE Design & Dignity grant

Following a national callout, University Hospital Limerick has been awarded an Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF)/HSE Design & Dignity grant to further develop end-of-life and bereavement care.

Following the tremendous success of the first three rounds of Design & Dignity Projects, University Hospital Limerick is one of seven hospitals nationwide to receive funding through Round Four.

Hospitals can be very unhospitable places for newly-bereaved people and families. Recognising how deeply people are affected by their surroundings, the Design & Dignity Project has developed a range of ‘exemplar’ projects within public acute hospitals. To date, over 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.

At University Hospital Limerick, the End-of-Life care committee plan to develop two Design & Dignity projects with the funding; including an upgrade of the Emergency Department bereavement suite and an End-of-Life Care Suite on one of their public wards.

University Hospital Limerick is part of UL Hospitals. End-of-Life Care Coordinator there is Denis Casey: “We are very grateful for the grant and all the support from the Design & Dignity programme. This will allow us to improve the environment where we care for patients at end of life and also provide suitable facilities for their families and loved ones.”

The Round Four winners were announced alongside the launch of the report “Evaluation of the Design & Dignity programme” carried out by University College Cork (UCC). Focusing on the first two rounds of Design & Dignity projects, the report found that Design & Dignity was seen to positively impact on the end-of-life culture in acute hospitals, families, staff and patients.

Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, commented: “The vision of Design & Dignity is that every adult, paediatric and maternity hospital in Ireland has warm and welcoming spaces to enable dignity and respect for patients and families facing dying, death and bereavement. This flagship project is significantly shaping the overall culture of end-of-life care in Irish hospitals and it is truly wonderful to see the level of pride that staff feel having played a vital role in bringing their Design & Dignity projects to fruition.”

John Browner, Assistant National Director with HSE Estates said: “All too often the focus of capital development and investment in healthcare has been on the provision of bed numbers and the expansion and improvement of clinical areas. The introduction and roll out of the Design & Dignity initiative and concept is challenging us to ensure that end-of-life care takes centre stage in the projects delivered by the initiative. We aim to continue to provide much needed private, respectful, dignified and comfortable spaces for patients and families within the wider hospital environment, during difficult times.”

The Irish Hospice Foundation is the only charity dedicated to dying, death and bereavement in
Ireland. 80 people die in Ireland every day and the IHF believes everyone has the right to be cared for and to die with dignity and respect in the care setting of their choice. Our mission is to strive for the best end-of-life and bereavement care, for all. The IHF campaigns to make excellence in hospice practices, bereavement and end-of-life care a national priority and to stimulate the conversation about dying, death and bereavement in Ireland. University Hospital Limerick awarded University Hospital Limerick awarded

For more information about the Hospice Foundation, click here.

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