Refurbished bereavement suite in maternity unit at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital gives parents space to grieve

Members of the Hewitt and Osborn family with Carolyn Fowler, deputy director of nursing (second left

Members of the Hewitt and Osborn family with Carolyn Fowler, deputy director of nursing (second left), Katie Chilton, head of midwifery (fourth left), Stevenage mayor Pam Stuart (fifth left) and Jacqui Hylton, the Trust's bereavement midwife (third right). Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust. - Credit: Archant

A bereavement suite in the maternity unit at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital has been refurbished, coinciding with Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Deborah Hewitt from Albie's Football Challenge, Stevenage mayor Pam Stuart - who officially opened t

Deborah Hewitt from Albie's Football Challenge, Stevenage mayor Pam Stuart - who officially opened the suite at a special event, and Kylie Osborn, co-founder of Darcie's Wish. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust. - Credit: Archant

The room, which provides women and their families with a quiet and comforting environment when they experience the loss of their baby, has been redecorated and an ensuite bathroom added thanks to donations from Darcie’s Wish and Albie’s Football Challenge.

Darcie’s Wish is a charity which supports bereaved parents, set up by Stevenage mum Kylie Osborn after her 20-week scan in 2014 showed her unborn daughter had Edwards’ syndrome and was incompatible with life.

Albie’s Football Challenge, established in memory of a baby boy who was stillborn in 2013, raises money for research into the causes and prevention of complications during pregnancy that lead to miscarriages, stillbirths and premature births.

Bereavement midwife Jacqui Hylton said: “The loss of a baby is a very rare, but devastating event. It’s important that women and their families are given a private and quiet environment, so they can grieve and maybe begin to come to terms with what has happened.

The newly-refurbished bereavement room at the maternity unit at Stevenage's Lister Hospital. Picture

The newly-refurbished bereavement room at the maternity unit at Stevenage's Lister Hospital. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust. - Credit: Archant

“This is why we’re really grateful to Darcie’s Wish and Albie’s Football Challenge for their support in making the refurbishment of this room possible.”

Kylie said: “Our charity supports bereaved families who have the painful task of saying goodbye to their babies whilst they’re at hospital.

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“We hope the room will provide a private and comfortable environment for families to create memories with their babies before they have to say goodbye.

“Now the room has been officially opened, we would like to continue our support and help look after it.”

Bradley Hewitt, founder of Albie’s Football Challenge, said: “We created Albie’s Football Challenge in 2014 and have held several football events, including a couple at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, to raise money for maternity units.

“We work with hospitals to make sure they have the resources they need to help and support families going through an extremely difficult time.

“We have met a number of different people along the way who have had similar experiences and many of them now raise money with us.”

Baby Loss Awareness Week ran from October 9 to 15, see babyloss-awareness.org for more.

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