Posted by Lorraine O’Hanlon, Galway Independent in News.

Facilities available to women experiencing pregnancy loss and patients approaching the end of their life are to be improved at the ward at University Hospital Galway where Savita Halappanavar was treated.

The Irish Hospice Foundation and the HSE are to provide a €56,000 Design and Dignity grant for St Monica’s gynaecology ward at the hospital.

Following the death of 31-year-old Mrs Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant and died seven days after her admission to UHG, a number of actions were agreed for the hospital, including improving the facilities available to women experiencing pregnancy loss.

The Design and Dignity grant, which is operated and co-funded by Irish Hospice Foundation and the HSE, will now be used to create a single en suite room on St Monica’s Ward which will be used for the care of women experiencing pregnancy loss, and also gynaecological patients who are approaching the end of their life.

Ann Cosgrove, General Manager Galway University Hospitals, welcomed the grant allocation saying it will go towards transforming existing accommodation to support patient care.

“Pregnancy loss is a very emotional time for couples and this project will provide a dignified, dedicated space with privacy at this difficult time. This substantial grant will make a real difference to patients. We are very excited about this new project.”

Eight other hospitals, including Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, are to benefit from Design and Dignity grants totalling €500,000 which will help transform older or dated spaces including family rooms, gardens and mortuaries.

Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley commented that the Design and Dignity Fund “aims to bring design excellence to hospitals where so many people spend the last days of their lives.”