Cumberland Infirmary offers new peaceful bereavement suit

nhs logoA NEW bereavement suite has opened at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.

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 is the base for the Trust’s bereavement liaison specialist nurse, Emma Kirkman, which is a new role for the Cumberland Infirmary.

The bereavement lounge is 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 also provides 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, features artwork from Veronica Currie, an artist originally from Chile, based in Wigton. Veronica has painted four new banners to celebrate the seasons and the passing of time.
She has also produced a unique ceramic tree, where the individually fired and painted leaves can carry the name of someone we have loved and lost.

The new £50,000 suite was funded from the Trust’s charitable fund, with donations from individuals paying for the carpets and some of the artwork.

The Organ Donation Committee paid for the furniture.

Chaplain at the Cumberland Infirmary, Anne Roberts; the Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcombe, Carlisle’s Mayor, Steve Layden, and representatives from other faith groups joined the chair of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, Gina Tiller, to formally open the suite on Thursday, January 14.

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’.”

Gina Tiller, Chair of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust said: “I am very pleased to be opening our new bereavement suite. It offers patients, families and staff a relaxed and calming environment to have difficult conversations away from the clinical wards. We are committed to continually improving services and facilities we can offer our patients and their loved ones. I would like to thank Anne Roberts and our staff who have worked hard to create this fantastic facility.”