Enhancing the Critical Care Quiet Rooms environment, University Hospital of Wales

Daring to Dream’s next project is focused on enhancing the environment of the Quiet Rooms in Critical Care at University Hospital of Wales (UHW). One room is designated for a space for families and another as an equally much-needed quiet and safe space for staff.

This year, through the daily media reports relating to COVID-19, we have all been given so much insight into the reality of Critical Care in hospitals. Insight into all aspects, including the huge emotional pressures on families as their loved one is critically ill, or very sadly passes away. For many families that emotional grief and pressure has been increased when they have not been able to be there to comfort their loved one at the end of their lives. The emotional pressure has been huge on staff too, and continues to be, as they not only tirelessly provide this demanding clinical care and support of patients, but also are providing so much emotional support to patients’ families, often over Face Time, Skype, or phone rather than face to face.

Patients at the end of their life are now more likely to have a spouse, partner, or close relative at their side, to provide comfort and love and share those precious last moments.

Quiet Rooms are so important; they are much-needed spaces for essential family and clinician conversations; spaces that, even more often in Critical Care, provide for very tough and distressing conversations. It is essential therefore that they are comfortable and comforting. That they provide a genuine safe haven, a cwtsh, a non-clinical comforting space for families.

Here is one of the current Critical Care ‘Quiet Rooms’; importantly, it is indeed a private space, but it is sparse in look and furnishings and certainly not comforting.

We are determined to create spaces that will firstly help families as they deal with very tough and emotional conversations and come to terms with the passing of their loved one and secondly provide a space too for members of staff to sit quietly, to take time out of their demanding shift and gather their own emotional strength once again. Spaces that support wellbeing for families and staff.

Once again, we welcome the support from John Lewis Home Design team in Cardiff, as they help us develop schemes that create non-clinical, comforting (and practical) environments.

Our attached mood boards indicate possible designs; we wish to add blinds and wall art including also framed thankyou cards.

These frames literally embed the emotions of gratitude, love and sadness of families and their huge appreciation of the heart-felt care provided to their loved one by staff in Critical Care.

Thank you all for your generosity in support this appeal.

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