06 Jul 2022

New Portlaoise hospital mortury facilities provide 'tranquil and peaceful atmosphere' for grieving families

New viewing room and family facility associated with the mortuary in Laois hospital

Families grieving loved ones who have passed away at Portlaoise hospital will not be able to do so in a much enhanced setting with the opening of a new viewing room and family facility associated with the mortuary.

The HSE says the development of the new facility at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise (MRHP) involved the redesigning and refurbishment of the viewing area of the mortuary. It says the facility will provide an appropriate space for bereaved families and includes extending the existing facilities to make provision for a separate waiting area, a new viewing room and an entrance porch.

There is also a small external area which will provide appropriate space for meeting with family members in advance of a viewing. The hospital says the internal design provides for a space which has a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Michael Knowles is the General Manager Portlaoise hospital.

“Hospitals can be very inhospitable places for newly-bereaved people and families. The staff at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise are committed to providing compassionate end-of-life care in partnership with bereaved families," he said.

"Our aim in these new developments was to provide a space of dignity and respectful repose for the deceased, a sanctuary of care and privacy, where families can be supported to spend time together.

"The mortuary is a sanctuary and the renovations convey a multi-faith environment of dignified respectful repose, creating a person-centered care pathway, for each deceased person and their families. It also sustains our hospital’s culture of compassionate care in life, death and bereavement.

"We would like to thank the end-of-Life committee in MRHP and all of the staff that have helped to bring this project to completion. And we would also like to express our gratitude to the Irish Hospice Foundation for their ongoing support,” concluded Mr Knowles. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Laois native Sharon Foley is CEO of Irish Hospice Foundation. She welcomed the opening of the new facilities.

“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. These projects significantly shape 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. I am delighted to see this happen here in Portlaoise.”

Funding for this new development was awarded to the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF)/HSE Design & Dignity grant to further develop end-of-life and bereavement care.

The opening was attended by: John Mulhall, Mortician, MRHP; Sandra McCarthy Director of Nursing, MRHP; Maureen Revilles, Director of Midwifery, MRHP; Michael Knowles, General Manager, MRHP; Sharon Foley, CEO, Irish Hospice Foundation; Dr John Connaughton, Clinical Director, MRHP; Zara Dagg, End of Life Care Coordinator, MRHP; and Majella Bannon, Facilities Coordinator, MRHP.

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