On Monday (January 2) the then Moderator of The General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, The Right Rev Dr Michael Barry, paid a visit to the Lagan Valley Hospital.
He was accompanied by his wife Esther and Rev Jack Richardson, Presbyterian chaplain in Lagan Valley Hospital and his wife Sally.
He was welcomed to the South Eastern Trust by Rev Don Gamble Lead Chaplain and Mr Jeff Thompson Assistant Director of Patient Experience. As a Hospital Chaplain in Newry’s Daisy Hill Hospital, The Moderator was only too aware of the pressures on hospital staff and services in these challenging times and encouraged Hospital Chaplains in their work of caring for patients, relatives and staff, over an informal cup of coffee. The Moderator’s wife Esther drew on her experiences as a Nurse in Newry Hospice in conversation with The Chaplains.
The Moderator was then taken on a tour of the hospital accompanied by senior managers and Presbyterian Chaplain Rev Jack Richardson and his wife Sally.
During the tour The Moderator met one of the Trust’s few husband and wife nursing teams in the Cardiac & High Dependency Unit wards. In each ward he spoke at length to staff commending them for their work and encouraged patients by taking time to pray with them. In Ward 1B, he was particularly interested in The Bereavement Box, which the ward had developed as an SQI (Safety Quality Innovation) Project. This has now been adopted by all the in-patient wards in The Trust through The Bereavement Service.
The tour progressed to The Dementia Unit and Stroke and Rehabilitation ward. Mrs Barry was interested to see how the colour coding of patient’s rooms and use of symbolism in signage and soft lighting, had made a more comfortable and safe environment for dementia patients, enhancing their care. The Moderator got a tour of the Sensory Garden. The tour concluded with a visit to the new Day Procedure Unit, which will be opening at Lagan Valley soon.
The Moderator’s visit concluded with lunch in the dining room with the Trust’s Locum Chaplains, at which he thanked the Hospital management for organising the visit and commented on the Hospital’s warm and friendly atmosphere, the dedication and commitment of the staff and the excellent care the patients are receiving.