A sanctuary which offers parents who have lost a baby a comfortable space to grieve and spend time with their little one has been re launched at Noble's Hospital.
The Forget-Me-Not suite on the maternity ward has been designed so that bereaved families can gather in privacy at a time of distress. The facility has been refurbished as a home-from-home, offering a peaceful environment with a Manx theme.
A new addition to the suite is a cold cot, allowing parents to be with their baby after a loss. This has been provided with generous support from Friends of Noble's and Abigail's Footsteps, while donations from many other charities have helped fund the makeover. Staff are hosting a special event at the Forget-me-Not suite to thank supporters, and show them what has been created.
Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford will attend the official opening on Friday 26 April at 1pm in the Jane Crookall maternity wing.
Interim Head of Midwifery Barbara Roberts said:
'We're so pleased to be able to offer this private retreat for those who very sadly lose their babies. The cold cot is a really important addition and will mean parents can spend precious time with their baby. We know this option is highly valued elsewhere as it gives families an opportunity to make memories, despite the sad circumstances.
'The suite offers comfort, space and privacy away from the bustle of the ward. It is our aim to be empathetic and sensitive towards those experiencing loss at any stage of pregnancy, and they are welcome to stay as long as they like. Giving them space in the Forget-Me-Not suite away from the clinics and the ward is a step closer to that aim.
'Our choice of artwork and décor has been prompted by women who have previously used the suite so we are confident it will go some way towards easing the distress of bereavement for other families.'
On behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, Minister Ashford has thanked the charities and members of the public who have donated towards the project:
'This new facility, borne of compassion, will meet the needs of a thankfully small number of people at their time of need in our hospital.
'As well as providing a comfortable retreat after a loss, it can also be used for conversations between patients and consultants when a non-clinical setting is preferable, offering privacy for those who would rather not attend busy clinics. I know our staff will ensure the very best use is made of the Forget-me-Not suite and I congratulate all involved in making it a reality.'