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Baby Memorial Garden University Hospital of North Durham relocation update 31 March 2023

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.

Following this, the Trust scheduled a series of further events in March to share these designs and provide an update on the plans.

The proposed plans are available to view and the presentation from the engagement events is also available to view by clicking on the publications on this page. If you have any feedback on the plans please either use the feedback form in the publications section of this page or contact our Patient Experience Manager, Paula Brennan via email 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 and further information was provided at the engagement events about this.

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

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham