Barnsley Hospital have repurposed a room previously used for staff training into a space for friends and relatives of patients receiving care in the Respiratory Ward, Respiratory Care Unit, and Ward 17. 

Lead Nurse Paula has driven the development of the area, from the initial idea following conversations with many concerned relatives during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Respiratory Ward saw many patients with acute illness throughout the pandemic and Paula felt there was no appropriate environment for staff to have involved conversations about patients’ care plans with friends or family. 

Paula said, “Relatives now have space and time to take in new information in a private and quiet environment, something which is not always possible in a busy clinical area. 

“Coming into the Ward environment can be quite overwhelming, especially at a time when you have questions and concerns about how your relative is doing. This new space gives us a chance to speak sensitively and privately to people at what can often be a very difficult time for them. It’s an opportunity to have a drink and take time to collect their thoughts.” 

The Respiratory team send condolence cards with a snowdrop motif to relatives in the sad occasion of a patient’s passing, and Paula roped in John Laing, a Painter and Decorator working for Barnsley Facilities Services to paint a snowdrop on the wall of the relatives’ room.  

Paula is grateful to the many people who worked together to make this space a reality. Not only John, but the Barnsley Hospital Charity team who supported the funding, the procurement team placing orders, the estates team finishing and connecting the room, the finance team paying the invoices, and the clinical teams making it as homely and welcoming as they can. Ultimately the room was made possible by kind donations and fundraising effort from supporters of Barnsley Hospital Charity. Thank you all.