Friday 25 November 2022 saw the re-opening of the newly refurbished Opal Suite, which is the quiet room in the antenatal clinic.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Sam and Rob Moore, together with the Weybridge WI, the quiet room on the maternity unit’s antenatal clinic has been extended and refurbished to provide a comfortable and more homely space for the families who may need it.
As one of the maternity department’s service users, who had very sadly experienced two pregnancy losses at Kingston Hospital, the Opal project was Sam’s brainchild. The conversations about providing an appropriate space began back in the summer of 2016. By May the following year Sam and Rob were beginning to start actively fundraising, setting-up the Opal Project fundraising page on JustGiving which outlined her experience of using this room:
“This life-changing conversation took place in a stifling hot, airless, soulless, tiny room with plastic chairs, not big enough to seat two parents, a midwife and a consultant. We dubbed this room the ‘Doom Room.”
New flooring, ceiling and lighting was included as part of the upgrade, as was an air conditioning unit. An LED illuminated wall panel was also added, given the room had no windows, and new furniture purchased.
Balvinder Reehal, Screening & Bereavement Lead explained:
“This room is where women and couples are seen to discuss ‘bad news’ regarding their much-wanted baby.
“It is thanks to the foresight of Sam and Rob Moore who were able to highlight that the ‘doom room’ we had before was not acceptable. Their determined fundraising efforts has enabled a transformation from a hospital clinical room to a more spacious, homely and comfortable space.
“Based on the feedback we have received, couples really appreciate having an appropriate space to contemplate their options and to think of a way forward, without feeling rushed.”