Hospital Friends make Bereavement Centre More Homely

Garry and Julie are pictured in the new-look office.

Furnishings costing £3,686 have been provided by the Friends of St Mary’s Hospital to make the hospital’s fairly new Bereavement Centre more comfortable for relatives of patients who have died in the hospital.

The centre, incorporating for the first time in one location the waiting room and mortuary (or viewing room), was created about a year ago. The old furniture, however, had not only become rather worn, but the seating could be too low for elderly and infirm people. The Friends’ grant paid for new armchairs and settees in both the waiting and viewing rooms, plus various plants and a bookcase containing useful information.

Garry Bennett, the Mortuary and Bereavement Manager, explained, “ The centre is used for us to see families and handing over documents, as well as viewings and Coroner’s identifications. With just over a 1,000 people using the facilities each year, the refurbishment is an important step towards being able to provide the best service possible in post-death care.”

Bereavement Officer Julie Sibley said: “The new furnishings have brought a softness to the area, creating a more sympathetic and homely environment at a difficult time. It’s a huge improvement.”