No bereavement room at new hospital

CRITICISM has been levelled at the new Felixstowe Community Hospital because it does not have a bereavement room for grieving relatives who have lost a loved one.

CRITICISM has been levelled at the new Felixstowe Community Hospital because it does not have a bereavement room for grieving relatives who have lost a loved one.

So much has been jammed into the hospital following its £1.76 million refurbishment patients say there is no room for the facility.

Roy Gray, chairman of the Save Our Felixstowe Hospitals Action Group, said there had previously been a bereavement room at the hospital.

He said: “The league of friends bought a lovely tea service for it. It was simply a room where relatives could be told bad news and have a little time, privately, to themselves.


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“I hadn't realised there now wasn't a room - something else which has been missed out.”

Clement Turner, of the patient environment action team which inspected the community hospital in Constable Road for cleanliness, environment and food, highlighted the issue to the Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) Patient and Public Involvement Forum (PPI), which campaigns on behalf of patients, acting as a watchdog and monitoring the health services on offer.

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He said: “There is not a single room in the hospital for a bereavement room. There is just nowhere whatsoever that they can go.

“There should be a space for someone who has lost a loved one to grieve. But there are no plans for it.

“The biggest problem they have is lack of space.”

However, Martin Royal, Suffolk PCT's programme director for business development, said: “Although there is no dedicated bereavement room, there are many rooms available in which family members can have private conversations when this is needed.”

Mr Turner said there were positive points about the new hospital, including the reception area, which is disability friendly, and a new lift had been put into the building.

He said: “The staff are very happy with the actual building itself. But spending that much money doing decoration is just paper over the cracks and there are some serious problems.

“One of the main problems has been there for over four years and it is to do with the automatic door (to the minor injuries unit). When it rains the doors open automatically.

“It either needs another door or a canopy.”

What's your view of Felixstowe hospital's makeover? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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