KGH launch £1m appeal for new baby loss bereavement suite

Kettering General Hospital has launched an appeal to raise £1m for a new bereavement suite for families who have lost their baby.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 11:17 am
KGH are launching an appeal to raise 1m for a new baby loss bereavement suite

The Twinkling Stars Appeal launched today (Wednesday) and will help fund a new bereavement suite to replace the room currently used, The Snowdrop Room, which is in the delivery suite.

The hospital said: "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."

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By raising £1m, KGH plan to build a separate extension with appropriate bereavement facilities which will include a bereavement room, a family room and a quiet room and office.

KGH'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."

Bethany Elliott says a new bereavement space would really improve patient care for baby loss.

Bethany and her partner Bobby O'Donovan, from Corby, were expecting their baby son Rory in 2018 when on October 4, Bethany became very ill at 37 weeks pregnant.

She had a placental abruption, where the placenta starts to come away from the wall of the womb, and this tragically led to Rory's death.

Bethany was moved to the bereavement room in the labour suite.

She said: "I buried my head in my chest and tried to sleep but I could hear other families having their babies.

"It was just such a struggle. I was trying to cope in an environment that was geared around the happiness of birth.

"It felt awkward to be in a place where people were waiting for good news when I had had such bad news."

Bethany said the care was great but the Twinkling Stars appeal is needed to create a proper separate space for bereaved families.

Bethany and Bobby have already supported the appeal and raised £12,000 through a variety of events in the last few months.

The trust has raised £25,000 in total for the appeal so far, but hope to raise the £1m needed for a new suite.

To support the appeal, you can donate on KGH's Virgin Money Giving page or visit KGH's website for more information.

You can also follow the appeal on Twitter (@kghcharityfund) and follow the hashtag #KGHTwinklingStarsAppeal.

There is also a Facebook page for the KGH charity fund.