The new Bereavement Suite at QMC has opened with an official announcement.
The new suite will provide an even better level of service to those who have lost loved ones, and means that more staff can be housed in the purpose built facility, with updated equipment and improved facilities for those grieving.
The Bereavement Service has been in place for over a decade, after taking over from the chaplaincy. In 2019, it implemented the Medical Examiners service which is now a nation-wide function for NHS Trusts. Due to this huge change, it became busier than ever and the facilities at QMC were struggling to keep up with demand.
The service was rapidly running out of space as the room was not large enough for all of the medical examiners, medical examiner officers, bereavement officers, management team, doctors, and consultants. The bereavement family room was also located three floors up from the main office, and families would often have to wait in corridors until the family room was free.
An initial bid for funding was turned down, but refusing to be disheartened, the team applied for the right to fundraise for the new bereavement suite themselves and had their eye on a disused pathology laboratory. A feasibility study then resulted in the cost being as high as £250,000, but the team were determined to try and raise at least some of the funds, in the hope that the Trust may cover the rest.
The team did everything they could to raise funds, from raffles, sponsored swims, card-making, they appeared on NUH radio, spent four weekends clearing out the old laboratory, liaised with local Nottingham companies, set up a Twitter page and just-giving page, and they also had the invaluable support of the Friends of the QMC charity behind them who had pledged to fund all of the furnishings for the new suite.
The arrival of the pandemic threw the bereavement service into the fore-front of everyone’s mind more than anyone could have ever imagined. At this point the Trust agreed to the construction of the new suite, and it was furnished with the assistance of the Friends of the QMC charity.
During the first fundraising drive, the team had set up a ‘buy a leaf’ campaign for a mural that was to be designed in the new family room, and used the last of their just-giving money to fund a beautiful birch tree mural which features name dedications
Jo Frearson-Smith, Bereavement Services Manager, said:
“We would like to thank everyone that has been involved in this journey and who has supported us from the start.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and contributions made to get this project moving and finally completed.”