We chaired a panel discussion on baby loss awareness and bereavement.
Attendees were able to hear from women who shared their experience of losing their baby.
We were pleased to have males in the room who shared their experience of losing their child. Men talking about baby loss is an area we want to encourage.
Many important points came out of this session including that there is a great inconsistency in the support that individuals and couples face when they lose a child, there is still a great level of insensitivity in being placed back on a maternity ward where mothers are there with their newborn babies, which can only reinforce the impact of their loss.
We spoke about the lack of empathy experienced by individuals who have lost their children and empathy should not just be from the bereavement counsellor but their entire staff team. Leaflets are just not helpful at a time of trauma, when couples reported they would much rather speak to someone in their time of need and not be forced to wait for years for counselling.
We want to see better education around grief and bereavement in schools as grief and bereavement impacts the whole family and that includes children. There was a huge amount of emotion in the room. We heard from a victim of the Alder Hey scandal too.
It is so important the Health Board attends discussions like this and actively participates. Sadly this did not happen on this occasion but our report of recommendations and experiences will be filed with the Health Board.
Photographs of the session can be found here.