New facilities for bereaved parents at Basingstoke hospital

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Putting aside their own tragedy to help others are local families who have helped raise money for new facilities for couples who lose a child during birth at Basingstoke hospital.

Families who have sadly lost children themselves and hoping to support others, who experience the same tragedy, have each made a donation that has enabled the hospital to refurbish The Butterfly Suite and buy new equipment.

Donations via the stillbirth and neonatal death charity Farnborough Sands, along with money donated to  the hospital’s Forget Me Not charitable fund, has provided The Butterfly Suite with a specialist separate birthing room linked to a quiet bedroom that has space for family members to spend time with their baby.

HHFT Butterfly Suite 1 480

Fiona Jackson, Bereavement Midwife, Leah and James Mitchell, Amina and Nick Kellie, (back) Russell Black representing the committee of Farnborough Sands. Pete McIvor and Lesley Watson (Sydney’s godmother), Tracey and Trevor Ball. 

Janet Jokat and Pete McIvor raised over £17,000 towards the new facilities. Janet, who is from Surrey said: “We were at another hospital when we lost Sydney, our first baby. Their facilities gave us time to spend with our baby, and for family members to come and meet our daughter. We want to support other families going through the same loss, so it is great to see the money we raised in Sydney’s name going towards these facilities at Basingstoke.“

Also in the room are special cots called ‘Cuddle cots’ donated through Farnborough Sands by Tracy and Trevor Ball in memory of their daughter Emilia, who died in October 2011. Cuddle cots are special moses baskets, that keep babies cool for longer, giving families more time to create lasting memories and say goodbye. 

Tracy said: “Our time with Emilia was extremely special and our memories so precious. We wanted to buy cuddle cots for Basingstoke hospital so that other parents can spend as long as they need with their baby, creating their own treasured memories.”

Also at the event today was Leah and James Mitchell from Basingstoke, and Amina and Nick Kellie, from Alton, who donated towards the refurbishment and equipment through the trust’s Forget Me Not charity.  

Chairman of Farnborough Sands, Laura Kirk, said: “Dealing with the death of a baby is clearly incredibly difficult for parents, and bereaved parents should be given the option of spending time with their baby. Time allows the family to form an important bond with their baby; whether dressing the baby or simply just to stay close, this can help families in dealing with their loss. The problem is that in a warm room the baby’s condition can deteriorate quickly, which parents can find distressing. Cooling the baby is absolutely essential, and by providing a cuddle cot, families do not have the trauma of having to be separated from their baby.”

Midwife Fiona Jackson from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are extremely grateful for all the donations that have paid for these new facilities, and which will enable families to spend precious time with their babies, providing more time to build memories in a comfortable environment without feeling rushed.”

Farnborough Sands support bereaved parents in hospital by providing resources including leaflets, memory boxes and inkless hand and footprints kits for parents to collect memories of their stillborn baby.

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