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Birmingham hospital takes flight with ‘Best Hospital Care’ award

The bereavement services team at Heartlands Hospital has won the prestigious ‘Best Hospital Care’ award at the 2013 Butterfly Awards, having cared for more than 1,600 families in Birmingham which have experienced the loss of a baby.

The Butterfly Awards celebrate the achievements of the healthcare professionals that support families during this difficult time.

Established in 2004, the bereavement services team provides a holistic service, from the time a family is bereaved, to the birth, funeral, follow-up appointments, ongoing support and help when planning future pregnancies. The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has two dedicated bereavement suites at Heartlands – Eden and Snowdrop – to create a home-from-home environment, enabling families to have the time and space they need with their babies.

Clare Beesley, bereavement support midwife, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win ‘Best Hospital Care’ at the 2013 Butterfly Awards, and would like to thanks all those who voted for us. Receiving this kind of recognition is truly heart-warming. We work hard to provide a service of the highest standard to parents and families going through the loss of a baby, and to be recognised for delivering the best hospital care for bereaved parents in the country is wonderful.

“We take pride in the fact that our team is trained to offer compassionate care and support, in a ‘home-from-home’ environment where families can spend time with their babies and create memories that will last a lifetime. By working closely with user groups and the local community, we will continue to develop our service to meet the individual needs of each family, every time. At the heart of our care is the six C’s as highlighted by the chief nursing officer for England: care, compassion, courage, competence, communication and commitment.

“Experiencing the loss of a child is one of the most difficult situations anyone can go through. The care and support we can offer to help carry families through these hard times makes a world of difference, and it means so much to win this award in recognition of all our hard work.”

Many people from across Birmingham vouched for the exceptional care received from the bereavement services team. Katie Pickett from Solihull received care and support following the loss of her son. She commented: “They helped us get through such a difficult time and made it as nice as it could be. All of the staff were so kind and caring, and made us feel at home. Without their kind nature, we wouldn’t have been able to spend quality time with our son or have the special memories that we have. They took copies of his footprints and locks of his hair – it was just so special to us. I think this enabled us to cope with the loss of our baby, and the team should be really proud of themselves.”

The daughter of Paul Warwick, from Yardley, also received help from the bereavement services team at Heartlands Hospital following the loss of her baby girl. He said: “The loss was absolutely devastating. All the nurses were outstanding, I couldn’t fault them. Time was never an issue to them – they would go home and come back in their own time, just to make sure we were OK. The service was just phenomenal.”

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