About us

Hospital chapel takes multi-faith approach

10 November 2015

Health Care

Southend Hospital’s chapel of rest will soon be getting a new name to go with its new look as a project to refurbish the area nears completion.

Based on the Kings Fund's enhancing the healing environment (EHE) programme, the newly-decorated area provides a calm and sensitive non-clinical environment that is both practical and supportive to the needs of the bereaved. Most importantly, the revamp means the area is now available for use by families and loved ones with a variety of religious beliefs.

"The old chapel of rest catered for Christian faith and couldn't be adapted for those of other faiths," explains palliative care lead nurse, Wendy Warner.

"The original floor was shabby with old uncomfortable furniture; there was no facility to provide refreshments and the layout prohibited viewing a deceased person from the waiting room.

"Our intention is always to put the bereaved first, and whilst there are obvious building constraints the aim has been to provide a softer and more homely environment which I feel we have achieved whole-heartedly."

To reflect this multi-faith approach the area in the mortuary where the bereaved can visit their loved ones will be renamed and referred to as the family viewing room from Monday 30 November. Signage around the hospital site will be changed accordingly.

PHOTO: L-R Graham Bucknill (lead mortician); Wendy Warner (palliative care lead nurse); Debbie Allman (bereavement co-ordinator); Paul Broderick (clinical programme manager, estates).