A special room has opened in a hospital’s emergency care department to provide a calming space for relatives of young patients – after a charity offered its support.
The children and young people’s emergency care service at the University Hospital of North Tees is opening a room for families to use in difficult circumstances.
This is after 4Louis, who support those affected by the death of a baby or child, helped create the comforting space for families.
The room includes a mural of a field of sunflowers, as well as refreshments and comfortable chairs.
Lauren Williams, a staff nurse whose baby son tragically died in the hospital’s maternity unit, said: “I know first-hand the impact a space like this could have.
“It is a quiet, peaceful area for relatives to go to in difficult circumstances or if the very worst happens.
“This department is still very new and until now we didn’t have a space like this for families to go to – now we do and we are grateful to 4Louis for their incredible support.”
Working with 4Louis
Bob and Tracey McGurrell, the charity’s founding trustees, visited the department to view the room and talk to staff.
They also donated a £5,000 cuddle blanket – this equipment helps keep a deceased baby’s temperature as cool as possible, allowing families precious extra time with their loved one.
Bob said: “Our NHS staff are doing incredible work – the care and compassion they show is extraordinary.
“Hospitals, by their very nature, have a very clinical feel which isn’t always appropriate when families are experiencing the worst news.
“Rooms like this provide that calming space for relatives can spend time in to process some news or spend time with their baby in the worst circumstances.
“The cuddle blanket helps give relatives that extra time to spend with the baby. Hopefully it will never have to be used but they are worth their weight in gold.”
The work on the room has been carried out through Together for Children, a group linked to Sunderland Council who run training schemes for young people.