Families grieving the deaths of their newborn children are being let down by under-resourced and inconsistent NHS maternity units lacking specialist support and facilities, a major audit of neonatal care has found.
Parents who have lost a child will remember the days after for the rest of their lives and small details can have a profound impact on their recovery and wellbeing, the stillbirth, neonatal death and premature baby charities Sands and Bliss said.
But the report spanning 100 maternity units in England found that, too often, staff did not receive regular bereavement training to best support patients, or help for the emotional toll on their own wellbeing.
It also found that in 43 per cent of bereavement rooms, where parents can spend time with their dead child, the cries of other babies can be heard – and this can be “incredibly distressing”.
“While nothing can reduce the pain and suffering that the death of a baby causes, high-quality bereavement care can help families cope with the devastating experience,” Clea Harmer, chief executive of Sands, said.
Date: 14th December 2018