The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn has today announced that the building of a much-needed Maternity Bereavement Suite has taken a significant step forward after it was agreed that the Trust’s own charity would make a significant donation towards the cost, meaning patients and their families will benefit from this important development sooner.
The Maternity Bereavement Suite Appeal was launched in early 2020 and so far, thanks to the generosity of the local community, over £44,000 has been raised. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely restricted the Trust and its partner, the Lynn News, from fundraising in the normal way. This, coupled with the urgent need for this vital facility, has led the Trust to explore alternatives which will see the suite built sooner. At the Trust Board meeting, held on Tuesday 3 November, it was agreed that the Trust charity would contribute £145,000 from existing funds taking the total to the £185,000 needed to get the build underway.
Chairman of the Trust, Professor Steve Barnett, said: “I am delighted that the building of this much-needed Maternity Bereavement Suite at QEH will now become a reality much sooner and that more patients and their families will be able to benefit from this suite.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped us to raise money so far. Without the generosity of our local community and loyal supporters we would not be in a position to proceed with this vital facility.”
Fundraising for the suite will continue until April 2021 with any additional funds raised going towards ‘extras’ that will make the suite an even more homely, comforting and relaxing environment for patients and their families to say their fond farewells in.
Professor Barnett continued: “Losing a baby during or just after birth is something we all hope will never happen to us. Unfortunately, despite all of the steps forward in medical care today, it does still happen and when it does we want bereaved parents and their families to have the right environment to say goodbye to their little one in – today’s agreement will bring that forward and ensure we provide the right environment for families.”
Mark Leslie, Editor of the Lynn News, said: “The response to the Maternity Bereavement Suite Appeal since it was chosen by readers as our Charity of the Year has been so heartening. The stories from grieving parents have truly touched our hearts. The recent donation of £10,000 by someone touched by one of our stories was amazing. It is brilliant that QEH will now be able to progress this project further.”
The suite will provide a safe, homely environment for bereaved parents and their families to create precious memories with their baby. Currently these bereaved parents must say goodbye to their little one on a Maternity ward where other women can be heard labouring and other families can be heard celebrating the birth of their baby.
Amanda Price-Davey, Head of Midwifery at the Trust said: “As a team we are delighted that this vital facility will now be made a reality sooner for the families we care for at a very difficult time. I know it will make a huge difference to their experiences and provide comfort at an unimaginable time.”
The building of the suite is expected to start early 2021 and it’s hoped it would be complete for use by patients and their families by April 2021.
If you would like to donate to the appeal to help us to fund the ‘extras’ we need for our Maternity Bereavement Suite, you can do so by visiting our Just Giving page on https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/QEHMaternityBereavementSuite
Or by sending a cheque to ‘Maternity Bereavement Suite Appeal’, Finance Department, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn PE30 4ET.
To download the press release, click here.