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Call for consistent bereavement care for parents who lose babies

Monday October 9th, 2017

Parents who lose a baby during pregnancy or after childbirth face a “postcode” lottery of care, campaigners say today.

More than 40 charities joined together to press for bereavement care in all hospitals for these parents.

The call was made at the start of the global Baby Loss Awareness Week. Next Sunday (15th) candles will be lit across the world and some buildings will be lit in pink and blue.

The charities say that fewer than half of maternity units give staff mandatory bereavement care training and that a third of NHS trusts and health boards do not have dedicated bereavement rooms in their maternity units.

They say the government should put a national bereavement care pathway in its annual “mandate” to NHS England.

Dr Clea Harmer, from the charity Sands, said: “It is long overdue that the NHS makes the provision of excellent bereavement care mandatory across the UK. Despite claims that it is a priority, there is still a shortage of dedicated bereavement rooms and too few health care professionals are getting the essential training they need to sensitively support grieving parents.

“Good bereavement care is rooted in simple acts of kindness and respect, giving a family whose world has fallen apart the time they need with their baby, and minimising anything that could add to their suffering.

“So it is very worrying that parents have told us they can hear the sounds of crying babies, and mothers and fathers congratulating each other on the birth of their healthy babies while they grieve.”

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | NHS | Nursing & Midwifery | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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