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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Hospital Opens Butterfly Suite

A ‘Butterfly Suite’ for bereaved parents has been opened at Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital thanks to generous donations from local families, Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity), Asda and hospital employees.

Parents who have been through the heartbreaking experience of losing their baby joined midwives, other hospital staff and fundraisers for the opening of the new bereavement suite, which will provide a safe and comfortable space for bereaved families away from the clinical setting.

Situated on the labour ward, but away from the main delivery rooms, the Butterfly Suite offers privacy from other families where mothers and their partners can spend time alone with their baby with support from specialist bereavement midwives.

The Butterfly Suite includes a double bed suitable for giving birth, adjustable lighting, a TV and cosy home furnishings as well as a private kitchen and bathroom. Butterfly artwork adorns the walls and thoughtful items such as a memory book and a butterfly tree give parents the opportunity to share their thoughts about their precious baby. To limit noise from outside the room and to ensure parents are in a peaceful environment at this difficult time, soundproofing has also been installed.

Eastham mum, Nicola Almond, sadly lost her son Leon when he was stillborn 20 weeks into her pregnancy in October 2013. Eight months later, Nicola went through the same devastating experience for a second time when her daughter Maddison was born sleeping at 28 weeks. As founder of LMS Sleeping Baby Appeal she has helped to fundraise to furnish the suite. She attended the opening of the Butterfly Suite with her five-week-old son Teddy.

Nicola, 30, said: “I love it. It’s bittersweet but when I think what I went through five years ago, this facility is fantastic. It makes you feel comfortable and safe. You can stay as long as you need and make the memories you want.

“I feel complete like I’ve come full circle. If it can help someone else who is going through what I went through, it will be an accomplishment and I can make my babies proud.

“I would also like to thank Heather Lennox, Bereavement Midwife, for all of her help and support with everything.”

Divisional Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Debbie Edwards said: “Losing a baby is devastating and it’s important that we do all that we can to support parents experiencing such a loss.

“The Butterfly Suite will make a huge difference in helping us to provide the best care possible in a private and comfortable setting. We are grateful to have had lots of input from Sands and parents who have sadly lost a baby in both designing the accommodation and raising the money to make it possible.

“They have worked tirelessly alongside their own families, friends and hospital staff to fundraise and I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved. It is going to make such an important difference.”

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) added: “It is wonderful that the new bereavement suite at Arrowe Park Hospital has been opened. It will provide parents with a safe and private place to spend time with their baby at a devastating time in their lives.

“I’d like to say an enormous thank you to everyone at our local Sands groups in the North West for their hard work in raising substantial funds which have helped to make the suite a reality.”

Pictured: Reverend Dr Paul Dempster, Head of Chaplaincy at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, who officially opened the Butterfly Suite, pictured with Alison Horton, Associate Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Women’s Services; Jo Lavery, Delivery Suite Manager and Melanie Reynolds, Bereavement Midwife.