A refurbishment project at East Kent Hospitals has transformed a maternity counselling room into a more appropriate space for mothers and families who have received bad news.
Now, with generous donations from Wendy Bowden and Linda Telfer – who started the Thanet Baby Bereavement Group 28 years ago after the deaths of their own babies – this room is now a bright, airy space with tea and coffee making facilities and homely comforts to make delivering this difficult news less impersonal.It also provides a space for families to stay a little longer to process their news in private.
Previously this room had a dark, cupboard-like feel that provided little comfort, so staff were keen to refresh the space and make it into a nicer environment for delivering bad news.
Wendy said: “Having experienced the worst possible news that your baby has died, I can totally understand the need for a quiet, private place to be told this. The support Linda and I gained from each other and from the group was phenomenal, and I hope that someone else might be able to continue offering support to newly bereaved parents and their families.”
On average there are 7,000 babies born here in east Kent each year. Although the majority of women presenting at the Antenatal Clinic have a positive outcome, sadly there are women who experience fetal loss or fetal abnormalities.
The counselling room is a quiet room for compassionate care where parents can receive difficult news in privacy. When a doctor or sonographer identifies a fetal abnormality on the ultrasound scan or when a woman or couple have been asked to return to the hospital for the results of diagnostic tests, there needs to be a private dignified comfortable space where they can be met with compassion and cared for.