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Baby Memorial Garden – University Hospital of North Durham (14 March 2023)

baby memorial garden events - March 23

In January, the Trust shared plans about the need to move the baby memorial garden within the grounds of University Hospital of North Durham to a new location on the hospital site.

The relocation is needed to support the Trust's proposals to expand the hospital's emergency department to manage increasing demand and improve the care and experience of patients who require urgent and emergency care at the hospital.

Through a series of engagement events in January and early February, the Trust listened to the views of families who currently have a plaque within the current garden about how the move could be managed in the most empathetic way and what features would support the most comfortable environment and experience for them in the new garden.

The Trust also apologised for the upset caused through the process of announcing the need to relocate the garden and committed to working with families and stakeholders through the process of the relocation.

Following the engagement, which also included a short survey, some common design themes and features were identified.

Over the course of the past few weeks, the Trust has commissioned designers to work on proposed designs for the new garden based on this engagement work and the views shared by the families involved.

The Trust would now like to share these designs and provide an update on the plans. Therefore, the Trust's team has scheduled a series of further events as follows:

Monday 27 March at 5pm - 6pm (UHND restaurant)

Thursday 29 March at 12.00pm - 1pm (UHND boardroom)

Friday 31st March at 12.30pm - 1.30pm (this will be a virtual event by ms teams)

Please register a place at one of the events by contacting the Trust's Patient Experience Manager, Paula Brennan on paulabrennan@nhs.net

During the first phase of engagement work, some families expressed a wish to remove their plaque from the current garden and not relocate them in the new space. Due to the fragile nature of the plaques, we have asked a contractor to support any families who wish to do this. If you would like to remove your plaque and not relocate it, the joiner will be available in the current garden on the following dates to support you with the removal:

Monday 3 April between 10am - 4pm

Tuesday 4 April between 10am - 4pm

Members of the Trust's Patient Experience Team will also be present to support families through this difficult process.

Some families expressed a wish to be involved in the move of their plaques to the new garden. We will be supporting this work at a later date and will share more information on this at the engagement events.

If you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us:

Patient Experience Manager, Paula Brennan on paulabrennan@nhs.net

Head of Communications & Charity, Gillian Curry on Gillian.curry1@nhs.net

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital