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Dublin Hospitals Commemorate The Unique Ways They Are Developing End-of-Life Care

Author: Rebecca Kelly
22 March 2018
  • Diarmuid Ó’Coimín Mater End-of-Life Coordinator, artist John Nolan, Eavan McSweeney, Senior Speech and Language Therapist who both compiled the unique art piece and Director of Nursing at the Mater, Tanya King.

Hospitals across Dublin have been commemorating how they support better end-of-life care for their patients and families.

The celebrations are part of the 10th anniversary of the Irish Hospice Foundation’s (IHF) Hospice Friendly Hospital (HFH) programme, which seeks to ensure that end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals.

To mark the occasion, the IHF launched the special Hospice Friendly Hospitals 10th Anniversary Grants to celebrate the work and progress achieved across the ever-growing network of hospitals under its remit since being established in 2007.

Grants totalling €10,000 were awarded to hospitals nationwide, with HFH End-of-Life Care coordinators organising workshops for staff, patients and their families, hosting special awareness days and coffee mornings, publishing new multilingual information leaflets etc.

In Dublin, A ‘Tree of Life’ was officially unveiled in the heart of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) by Mrs Tanya King, Director of Nursing and Member of the Board of the MMUH in the presence of Mr Gordon Dunne CEO, hospital staff and guests. Professor King thanked all who contributed to the giant artwork that was lovingly created by over 300 staff, patients and their families. Each ‘leaf’ is unique, with some people memorialising a family member or friend who had died, others adding handprints or thumbs up for good end-of-life care.

Speaking at the unveiling Mater End-of-Life Care Coordinator Diarmuid Ó Coimín said: “The response has been overwhelming. We expected 150-250 but within half an hour over 300 people had created art works.  We are truly delighted with the feedback and support of patients, staff and their families creating well-deserved awareness for the Hospice Friendly Hospital programme. In turn, improved patient care will be delivered as result of this engagement.”

Other projects have already been completed, like in Tallaght Hospital where two special lamps have been designed thanks to their HFH grant. ‘Grecian Waves’ and ‘Autumn Glow’ from the Chronos Series (Greek word meaning Time) are two stunning handcrafted stained glass and wood lamps created by artist Clíona Baker for use in end-of-life care in the hospital. They feature a colour changing led lighting display that captivates and promotes a calming, relaxed and peaceful atmosphere for patients and family members within a room.

In Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC), a special bag has been developed to gift to parents when staff are handing over mementoes to them. These include items like baptismal candles, memorial books, memory boxes, ceramic handprints and footprints that they make in the hospital.

OLCHC End-of-Life Care Coordinator Carol Hilliard: “A lot of the children who die in Crumlin have never been home and have never had to opportunity to make these memories. The mementoes are tangible memories they’ve made with their children and this new bag marks the significance of what is contained within.”

Sharon Foley CEO of the IHF: “It is fantastic that so much great work has been carried in our hospitals over the last 10 years to help those near end of life and their families. Staff across the country have put so much time into the programme that it was only right to celebrate its success. Our vision is for all hospitals to continue this path and have offer patients the best end-of-life care possible and we will continue to work closely with hospitals and staff to achieve this.”

To find out more about HFH, click here

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