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Paediatric Mortuary Art and Design Project, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Designing therapeutic environments to support end of life care

The Paediatric Mortuary is a specialist unit delivering end of life care services to St Mary’s Hospital, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and numerous hospitals and coroner’s jurisdictions in the North-West. Service provision includes post-mortem procedures and use of dedicated viewing suites. Clinicians and staff are dedicated to delivering a compassionate and caring service and improvement to the environment of the mortuary viewing suite was essential to support service delivery and end of life care.

Lime developed an artists brief with specialist staff from the mortuary and invited three of the Uk’s leading glass artists to respond. With guidance from Lime staff decided to offer the commission to leading British glasswork artist Sasha Ward, chosen due to her expertise and holistic response to the project brief. Sasha also importantly demonstrated that she was able to engage and work sensitively with bereaved adults.

It was critical to consult with bereaved service users and staff to ensure the final artwork and design features represented their ideas and thoughts, and were appropriate for an end-of-life care setting. Sasha developed a selection of art activities to engage families sensitively, helping them to consider light, colour, shape, form, and space. The result is a series of unique abstract artworks with themes relating to precious metals and subtle references to nature. Artworks and designs and a complimentary soft colour scheme link each room to create a tranquil, and dignified setting.