Twinkling Stars Appeal
Plans to dramatically improve the facilities at Kettering General Hospital for families who have suffered the trauma of losing their baby have been unveiled.
The Trust is launching a £1 million public fundraising campaign - called the Twinkling Stars Appeal - to set up a brand new bereavement suite adjacent to the maternity unit.
At the moment the hospital’s bereavement room is situated within the labour suite itself – where parents with normal births are celebrating their new arrivals.
This feels inappropriate at times of great sadness for bereaved families and can add to the sense of loss that they feel.
Kettering General Hospital’s Bereavement Midwife, Stephanie Fretter, said: “Each year we care for up to 100 families who suffer the heartbreak of losing their baby.
“This can happen during pregnancy, around birth itself, or through compassionate induction - where a baby has so many genetic problems that they will not survive.
“This is an extremely upsetting and emotional time for families who may have come to hospital expecting the joy of childbirth - and have to leave with empty arms.
“While we work very closely and supportively with parents in this situation we know that our facilities really let us down and we want to change that.”
The Trust’s facilities currently consist of:
- The Snowdrop Room - A standard delivery room within the Delivery Suite that is our only current facility for bereavement care. Across the corridor is small room which contains a refrigerated cold cot where a baby’s body can be kept. Behind the room there is small courtyard garden developed with the support of Northamptonshire SANDS (the Stillborn and Neonatal Death Charity).
- A shared sitting room within the Delivery Suite. This family room is used primarily by parents having normal deliveries and who are celebrating. Bereaved families currently have to share the use of this room with them.
The plan is to develop a new bereavement suite - adjacent to the Delivery Suite but entirely separate from it - where families who have suffered a loss can get quiet, compassionate and supportive care and spend time with their loved one.
It would create:
- A new bereavement room with ensuite bathroom and an appropriate cold cot
- A new Family Room just for bereaved families to use entirely separate from the delivery suite. This would be a place where family members could meet, wait in, and use in support of bereaved parents. It would have a kitchenette, sofa bed, and be a quite private place.
- Quiet Room and office – This would be a place where the bereavement midwives are based which would have the dual purpose of being a quiet room where bad news could be communicated or where post mortem results could be discussed. The bereavement midwives currently share offices in the Delivery Suite.