Hospital launches appeal for ‘tranquil space’ for end-of-life patients and families
- Credit: Mecha Morton
An ambitious campaign has been launched to raise £340,000 to create a private, calming garden where hospital patients can spend some of their final hours with their loved ones.
The Butterfly Garden at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds would have an area for children to be able to play and pets would be welcome to visit to create special memories to treasure.
The Butterfly Appeal has been launched by West Suffolk Hospital's My WiSH charity and already has support from some businesses and individuals across west Suffolk.
Every day, around 25 patients will need the help of the end of life services at the hospital and every year the palliative care team cares for more than 1,000 admissions.
The vision is to create a garden with a glass-fronted building that would be able to accommodate a patient in their bed to allow them and their loved ones to spend quality time together, away from the hustle and bustle of the wards, as they prepare to say goodbye.
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The space would be full of sensory plants and include a water feature and the building would have large glass doors that can be opened to make the space feel part of the garden.
There would be calming light, music and a TV - everything needed to make it a comfortable environment for all.
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Sue Smith, head of fundraising at My WiSH, said: "We are so excited to finally be able to launch this appeal. We have spoken to many families and heard their stories.
"This is such a difficult time in people's lives and it made us realise we needed to do something. The hospital is such a busy environment so we hope by offering this tranquil space it will make this time in their lives a little easier.
"For me, if my family member was going to pass away in the hospital, I know they would receive excellent care - I absolutely know that. But we need to be able to offer such a better environment for these people to spend their last days, hours or minutes surrounded by the people who love them."
And Sally Daniels, appeal manager, said: "Staff members often have to break bad news in unsuitable rooms such as staff rooms.
"These are desperately sad conversations, but this space will provide them with a quiet area where the nursing staff can talk to them without being disturbed.
"It's so hard for those left behind. We hope that this space will provide them with time together to create special memories in their time of need."
Those to offer their support include the ICE Café, on the Rougham Industrial Estate, and Marks & Spencer have chosen My WiSH as their charity for 2020.
-To donate see here or call 01284 713466.
-Businesses wanting My WiSH to be their charity of the year can also call the number above to speak to Ms Smith or Ms Daniels.