Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital wants to improve the day-to-day lives of terminally ill patients by allowing them to enjoy wine on the premises.
Hospitals’ primary concern should be to provide adequate healthcare to the local community, but they shouldn’t underestimate the smaller things that can improve the patient experience. In the past we’ve seen Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan set up it’s own organic food garden to improve the quality of the meals patients receive, and now France’s Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital is planning to open a wine bar to help terminally ill patients better enjoy their long-term stays.
The French are well known for their love of wine, and health complications don’t necessarily mean that patients have to give it up. Located in the palliative care unit of the Puy-de-Dôme facility, the bar will be open to both patients and visitors when it launches in September. The consumption of alcohol will be medically supervised and the service is designed to help patients to enjoy a glass or two with their loved ones. According to Dr Virginie Guastella, the head of the hospital unit that proposed the idea, the bar is ‘an attempt to restore longing, taste, desire and even pleasure’ to the lives of the terminally ill. She told AFP: “The aim is to ‘re-humanize’ patients by improving the quality of their day-to-day existence and also by giving them the pleasure of being able to offer and receive.”
Aside from helping patients to be happier, there’s also evidence that red wine in particular has health benefits all of its own. Are there other ways hospitals can introduce enjoyable activities and services to improve the quality of life of its patients?