A new Orchid Room for End of Life care and a newly refurbished bereavement suite, the Honeysuckle Room, for parents who have lost their babies have been opened at Liverpool Women's by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Gary Millar.
A memorial garden and a Book of Remembrance for young and old are also being provided.
Much of the funding for the projects has been raised in memory of loved ones by families and friends as a "thank-you" for the care provided by Liverpool Women's. Many were present at the event on Thursday, November 14, to see the rooms for the first time. They gave moving testimony to their experiences, paying tribute to the care that they and their loved ones received from staff at Liverpool Women's.
The new Orchid Room is similar to the existing Mulberry Suite, opened in 2010. Both provide space, facilities and most of all privacy for terminally ill women to spend quality time with their families during their final days. The Orchid Room has been partly funded with over £15,000 raised by Kevin Bellion, the partner of a beautiful young woman called Carla Maguire who lost her battle with cancer at the age of only 34. After her death, Kevin, both their families and friends decided to fundraise in order to refurbish Room 7 in which Carla had a spent a great deal of time. Orchids were her favourite flower and the Orchid Room will ensure Carla is never forgotten.
Similarly, since much loved Clubmoor dinner lady Margaret Lloyd died of cancer, aged 64, her husband Tommy with friends, family and supporters have raised an amazing £38,000 as a 'thank you' for the care she received.
The new Orchid Room has been partly funded with over £15,000 raised by Kevin Bellion
The Honeysuckle Room (honeysuckle means bond of love) will allow parents to spend time with their babies in a quiet, comfortable area away from busy hospital life and from families who are taking their babies home. Said Chief Executive Kathryn Thomson: "Each year many thousands of families leave Liverpool Women's with their new babies. Unfortunately some parents leave our hospital with empty arms. Although nothing can diminish or take away the pain that parents and their extended families go through, our staff do their best to support families at these difficult times. They don't have much time with their babies and the Honeysuckle Room gives them a chance to make memories."
In opening the event, Dame Lorna said she had never been so proud of the hospital where she was once a midwife, recalling that from her early nursing days it had been stressed to her that caring for families was an important part of caring for patients. The Lord Mayor recalled how when his own father was dying, he lay in a clinical setting with no privacy and no feasible way of going anywhere else in the hospital. "To have these very special facilities where families can go to a private place is how it should be."