Steph Wild, Founder and Midwife, Beyond Bea charity, that provides free bereavement care training for healthcare professionals says: “The Ockenden Report is both damming and heart-breaking, but unfortunately not surprising. The training for healthcare professionals tasked with supporting families affected baby loss is often undervalued and overpriced. 38% of maternity units do not have a specialist bereavement midwife. Only 46% of trusts have mandatory bereavement care training. The quality of care available in neonatal units paints an equally bleak picture. Just 12% of neonatal units have mandatory bereavement care training. Remarkably 23% of neonatal unit bereavement leads have themselves not received bereavement care training. This landscape presents a huge challenge when set against the tragic reality that 15 UK families a day experience the death of their child through stillbirth or neonatal death.
“Beyond Bea are calling for mandatory bereavement training for all healthcare professionals. It is critical that maternity services have the skills to deliver compassionate care. The Beyond Bea charity is dedicated to working to improve, change and enable access to training. Beyond Bea will always continue to strive to ensure this improves and remains accessible to ANY student or health professional.”
Trustee of Beyond Bea, Kylie Brennan, who lost her son, Beau, at 20 weeks and three days gestation under the care of Telford Hospital says: “We dearly hope that we will see a day where no more babies and children have to die unnecessarily. Education and training is key to making this change. We must ensure, through accessible bereavement training, that during those first moments of grief, the care and compassion that is received will help families create positive and lasting memories of their child.”
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