Magnolia House

West Midlands
Published Date: 29 Nov 2018

West Midlands CLAHRC is evaluating the early implementation and impact of Magnolia House, a new facility at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) to support families coping with ‘bad news’ situations or bereavement. It is designed to improve outcomes that matter to families and staff by transforming the environment in which care is delivered. This project, led by Dr Karen Shaw, uses a case-study approach to explore the extent to which Magnolia House represents an innovative model of care and how it might be developed, re-designed or replaced to provide optimal benefits to families and staff. As such, the findings will not only have implications for future service delivery at BCH, but will also inform potential for scale-up and adaption.

To date, we have:

  • Undertaken public engagement work to confirm outcomes that matter to families and staff.
  • Administered a staff survey to explore existing practices in sharing life-changing information and bereavement care
  • Undertaken ‘walk-around’ assessments with children and family members, using ‘photo-voice’ to qualitatively evaluate the suitability of the environments in which life-changing information is shared at BCH.
  • Undertaken in-depth semi-structured interviews with “early adopter” staff to see if it is operating as intended.

We have just begun the final phase of work. This includes observational work to record use of Magnolia House and the social interactions that occur within it, and interviews with staff and families to examine the impact on them.

Dr Karen Shaw, Research Psychologist, email: