New bereavement suite offers quiet space for families

Posted: October 11, 2016

Trust thanks local fundraisers

Swindon Sands 161010 350Bereaved families who have experienced a stillbirth or neonatal death can now benefit from a new private space away from the busy maternity ward, thanks to the efforts of local fundraisers. 

The new Forget Me Not Bereavement Suite was opened on Monday 10 October in the Delivery Suite at GWH, with money raised by Swindon Sands (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Charity) and a grant from the NHS Improvement Fund.

Swindon Sands have been the driving force behind the campaign to bring a bereavement suite to GWH, raising £35,000 towards the overall £100,000 cost, which included moving a birthing pool to another part of the ward, building work and soundproofing, and new furniture.

The Forget Me Not suite now offers a dedicated quiet space, with a kitchen area, soft furnishings, sofa beds and calming décor. 

On Monday, Chief Nurse Hilary Walker cut the ribbon on the new suite (pictured) and the hospital's Midwifery team hosted an afternoon of tea and cake to thank Sands for their support and welcome back parents to show them around. 

Laura Kirby Deacon, who is a Staff Nurse at GWH and co-chair of Swindon Sands, lost her daughter five years ago and has campaigned ever since for a bereavement suite at GWH.

She said: "It was my dream to see our very own bereavement suite open so that future parents will be able to create their lifetime of memories in a safe and protected environment to suit their needs.

"Having a dedicated room is imperative when supporting families and shielding them away from others.

"We all hope it will never happen to us. But there must be provision, facilities and trained staff to assist families who find themselves in this awful position."

Around 4,500 are born at GWH every year and it is thought the new room will be used by around 50 families a year. 

Translate this page: