27 June 2024

Transforming the Mortuary viewing rooms at UHS

Southampton Hospitals Charity, the official charity of University Hospital Southampton has funded £25,000 towards a complete refurbishment of the Mortuary viewing rooms.

As part of the Charity’s commitment to the wellbeing of carers and patients’ families, the funds have been used on the construction works for the project, furnishing both the adult and children viewing rooms, installation of art works and the interior design

GAP (the General Arts Programme at UHS) collaborated with the Mortuary and Trust Estates team, to create the design for the project which began in 2023.

Neda Mohamadi, Art Curator, Southampton Hospitals Charity said, “A thoughtfully designed, and aesthetically pleasing environment can provide a sense of peace and comfort during an incredibly difficult time. The updated space offers a calming atmosphere, helping to alleviate some of the emotional burden and honour the memory of the deceased. Comfortable seating, soothing colours, and respectful interior design significantly contributes to creating a space where grief can be expressed and managed in a more supportive environment.”

Tania Fernandes, Mortuary Operations Manager, said, “I am delighted to share the wonderful feedback on our refurbished mortuary viewing room. The improvements have significantly impacted both our staff and the families we serve. Families now experience enhanced comfort, serenity, and accessibility, while the redesign emphasises respect and dignity. For staff, the upgrades have boosted morale and streamlined operations, reinforcing our pride in providing a dignified and comforting space.”

The team enhanced the children’s viewing room with Marina Ester Castaldo’s colourful print and a mural by Nasser Teymourpour inspired by her artwork, along with three limited-edition prints from Weonika Siuda’s Seasons series. The adult viewing room features another mural by Teymourpour and a bespoke lightbox by ‘Nature Works for Health’. In the corridor, there is a soothing piece titled ‘View from the Terrace’ donated by Chrissie Birchall.

The refurbished viewing rooms enhance the overall experience by addressing practical needs and providing additional support to grieving families. Improved lighting and accessibility features ensure that all visitors, including those with disabilities or mobility issues, can comfortably spend time with their loved ones. Incorporating private spaces within the viewing rooms also offer families a private time with their loved one.

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