New Family Room for Mercy University Hospital Cork

Categories: Care.

This scheme transforms hospital spaces to make the experience of dying as positive as it can be for patients and loved ones left behind.

The existing Pastoral Care Room will be refurbished into a Family Room. The room is part of the Georgian Mansion House and will be tastefully transformed by upgrading furnishings, installing refreshment facilities, new lighting and artwork. It will also enhance views of the River Lee from the room which will be a private space to talk and reflect.

Approximately €46,300 in total has been provided – €32,416 of which is a Design & Dignity grant with the remaining amount of €13,892 coming from the hospital.

Margaret McKiernan, Director of Nursing at Mercy University Hospital said: “As a previous recipient of a Design and Dignity grant, I know first-hand the positive impact on families when spaces are created which are welcoming and homely. We want to create a dignified comfortable space away from the clinical environment that families and friends of patients at end of life can use. It is also an appropriate place for staff to have conversations with and provide support to families. This is aligned to our core hospital values of compassion, excellence and respect firstly for the patients and families we serve but also for our staff who provide the care.”

Mercy University Hospital also refurbished their mortuary through a Design & Dignity grant in previous years. The hospital is one of over 48 hospitals in Ireland linked to the Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) Programme. The HFH Programme is an initiative of the IHF and seeks to ensure that palliative, end of life and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals.

Mary Lovegrove, Design & Dignity Project Manager with the IHF said, “We hope this new welcoming space will be a sanctuary for families of patients nearing the end of their lives and those caring for them in the hospital.

“Our vision for Design & Dignity is for all hospitals to have beautifully designed family rooms and mortuaries – it’s wonderful to see Mercy University Hospital leading the way with these two projects,” concluded Ms Lovegrove.

To date, the Design and Dignity Project has supported 34 projects around Ireland enabling hospitals to create relaxing spacious family rooms, inpatient suites and maternity bereavement suites and upgraded mortuaries into welcoming, respectful environments.


The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) is a national charity dedicated to all matters relating to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland.  Our vision is that no one should face death or bereavement without the care and support they need.  Our mission is to achieve dignity, comfort and choice for all people facing the end of life. The IHF receives core funding from Pobal from the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government’s Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019. Further information is at

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