Launch of new ‘quiet room’ for TMBU.
Published 17th September 2019
The Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) celebrated the opening of a new quiet room last week, generously paid for by supporters of The Early Birth Association (EBA).
Welcoming the opening, the EBA has been campaigning for such a facility following feedback from members, parents and families who have spent time with their babies at the hospital. Staff and supporters of TMBU, the EBA and BSUH Charity attended the grand unveiling this week including parents and children with direct experience of the unit.
EBA Committee Member, Jemma Roberts, helped design the space and was passionate about being involved with the project: “My daughter Tilly was born prematurely at less than 25 weeks in January 2014 and the first conversation we had with the consultant was in a room where spare equipment was being stored – it just didn’t feel like the right place to be having discussions about whether your baby is likely to make it through the next 24 hours. We had many other difficult conversations during her time on the TMBU, a lot were at the side of her incubator, or again in the equipment room.
“Tilly spent 5 and a half months in the TMBU and more time in other hospitals later on in her life – there was only one hospital that had a separate room for having those difficult conversations. That made a huge difference to us, to be able to go outside of the medical areas and be given the opportunity to openly talk with staff, family and to not worry about letting your emotions out.
“I am so happy that the unit has this room now and I hope that it helps the parents and families going through one of the most trying times anyone can ever experience.”
TMBU Matron Clare Hunt said: “It provides a space away from the wards and other babies and visitors for staff to talk to parents. These can be difficult conversations and the difference that having a calm, private space will make is unquantifiable.”
This marks the completion of wider refurbishment works at the unit totalling more than £350k, funded by donations from supporters of both The EBA and BSUH Charity. The changes took place over several months, including walls being removed to open up space in the wards to give parents more privacy.
Two local businesses helped complete the quiet room to ensure it is as comfortable and as distinct from the hospital environment of the wards as possible. DFS kindly donated the furnishings, whilst Dulux provided advice on colour and the paint. Artist Soozy Barker generously donated a tranquil painting for the wall.
Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux, said: “At Dulux and DFS we both know that colour and comfort go hand in hand to help soothe us in stressful times. Dulux paint in Pebble Shore and Fresh Foliage were the perfect colours for the quiet room – these soft natural shades add subtle hints of nature, which help walls to visually melt away and invite the tranquillity of the outside in.” Sam Edwards, Store Manager at DFS Hove, said: “We’re really proud to have been able to support the unit’s new quiet room with a donation of sofas and chairs. At DFS, we’re all about comfort and in difficult times, it’s important to have a comfortable, peaceful place to go.”
Heidi Crawford and Michelle Miles, Co-Chairs of the EBA would like to thank all of their supporters, whom have enabled the charity to fund this project. It will make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of babies and their families treated on the unit every year.
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