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Hospital room for receiving bad news gets a makeover

28th November 2023

A group of people inside the Lavender room
Members of the South Tyrone Hospital Local Comforts Fund visited the Lavender Room in South Tyrone.

A quiet, private room to support patients and families when bad news is given after a procedure, has been opened in South Tyrone Hospital.

‘The Lavender Room’, located within the Theatres and Day Procedure Unit, has been transformed from a clinical and uninviting room into a comfortable space where tough conversations can be held. Staff Nurse Cathy McGonigle, who works in the Endoscopy Unit and supports families, spearheaded the renovation.

“We had no specific room to take patients and their families into what can often be a very difficult time.

“Thanks to the generosity of the South Tyrone Hospital Local Comforts Fund, we were able to give a former store room, which is located within the Unit, a makeover,” said Cathy, who worked alongside her colleague Lynn McClung to ensure the room was completed to a high standard.

Two women sitting on sofa

South Tyrone Theatres and Day Procedure Unit Manager Maura McCarthy (left) with Staff Nurse Cathy McGonigle, who works in the Endoscopy Unit and spearheaded the renovation.

The former store has now been completely redecorated and includes facilities such as a seating and tea/coffee area, and a calming colour scheme. Every detail of the room, from the smell of Lavender upon entering the room to the calming colour scheme and room layout, has been thought out with the patients at the forefront at all times.

“The room is so much brighter now and looks more like a lounge than an office or clinical space. It now provides privacy and ensures that patients and families who may receive bad news or need their procedures explained in more detail, have the time, space and facilities they need to process the news that they are receiving.”
The South Tyrone Hospital Local Patients Comforts Fund visited the Unit on Tuesday 28 November to see the room after they generously ensured the the room was filled with all the necessary furnishings to make a difference.

SR Maura McCarthy, Manager for Theatres and Day Procedure Unit (DPU), said:

“Receiving bad news can be the most difficult and distressing time of a person’s life and we hope that this transformation can make a positive difference when they need it and help ease the stress and strain on the patient and their family.

“Providing the best possible care to our patients is our top priority. Cathy’s commitment and passion for this project demonstrates that our team have time to listen to patients and relatives and deliver safe, responsive care.”