Upgrade to Limerick mortuary may help ease pain of relatives

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Dr Kathy McLoughlin, project co-ordinator, Milford Care Centre, Hugh Brady, chief financial officer, UL Hospitals Group, Denis Casey, End of Life Co-ordinator, UL Hospitals Group and John Lonergan
THE former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, John Lonergan, has opened the revamped mortuary at University Hospital Limerick.

THE former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, John Lonergan, has opened the revamped mortuary at University Hospital Limerick.

The Dooradoyle hospital was awarded a Design & Dignity grant in 2011 totalling €285,000, along with funding from HSE estates, which was used to transform the old mortuary into “a calming dignified space for bereaved families”.

The scheme aims to transform the way hospital spaces are designed for people at the end of life, and to set the standard for other hospitals to follow.

The new mortuary facility at University Hospital Limerick wraps around an internal tranquil garden. This feature allows them the opportunity to reflect and prepare themselves for viewing their loved ones.

The provision of a kitchenette in the mortuary allows for tea and coffee making facilities, while a privacy room, away from the main area, offers a space for families to have time together in a protected and supporting space.

The mortuary extension was nominated as a finalist in the ‘Healthcare Building Project of the Year’ category at The Irish Healthcare Centre Awards 2015.

Denis Casey, End of Life Care coordinator at University Hospital Limerick, said the improvements to the mortuary has created “a much more inviting space for families to congregate following the death of their loved one”.

Sharon Foley, chief executive of the Irish Hospice Foundation said every year 30,000 people in Ireland die, and 43% die in acute hospitals.

“This project in UHL now provides a peaceful environment where families can process their grief and spend that precious time saying goodbye to their loved one,” she said.

A new garden has been planted and benches and lights installed.