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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > New Bereavement Suite at the Cumberland Infirmary

New Bereavement Suite at the Cumberland Infirmary

Posted on Tuesday 12th January 2016
bereavement suite

A new bereavement suite opened at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.

A new bereavement suite 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 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.

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

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.”