NNUH helps build human connections by installing a dome
Hospitals can be very stressful places, so the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has introduced a quiet sanctuary for patients, visitors and staff to take a few moments to relax in, either on their own or in the company of others.
The dome, located inside the entrance to East Atrium, was officially opened by Medical Director Prof Erika Denton and Chief Nurse Prof Nancy Fontaine this week. Comfortably furnished with sofas, chairs and cushions, it’s a haven from the hospital’s hurly-burly where anyone can sit peacefully in cocooning surroundings.
“We care about the mental wellbeing of our staff, patients and visitors as much as their physical health, so we’re delighted to bring the dome to our hospital in partnership with the Mental Health Liaison Service and the Association of Camerados, who promote the belief that supporting each other helps us through tough moments in life,” said Prof Denton.
“It’s the perfect place to sit alone with your thoughts or receive comfort and support from others,” added Prof Fontaine. “It’s important to us to offer somewhere patients can escape from the institutionalised environment of our hospital, visitors can collect their thoughts and our staff can take a few moments away from the pressures of their work. It gives us all the opportunity to both give and receive support, human being to human being.”
NNUH is the fifth hospital to partner the Association of Camerados as part of a pilot programme to understand the psychosocial benefits of such spaces.
“Hospitals come with a particular set of anxieties and worries, so we want to learn more about how human connections can alleviate them,” said Helen Parker of the Association of Camerados. “We’ve already had successful trials in many locations, including universities, high streets and even the Brooklyn Bridge, and are very pleased to work with NNUH to help make it an even more supportive place to work or recover and an even more welcoming place to visit.”