Trust establishes new Bereavement Support Role for Maternity Service

Bereavement Support Midwife
Lesley-Ann Kennedy, Bereavement Support Midwife

The Northern Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of their first Bereavement Support Midwife.  Lesley-Ann Kennedy, who was previously a Midwifery Sister in Causeway Hospital, has taken up appointment this month.

Caroline Diamond, Head of Midwifery in the Northern Trust, explained the purpose of the role: “We have listened to the parents in our service and are now really pleased to have this role in place.  This service will provide extra support and guidance to ensure that in the midst of the most difficult situation women and their families will have that dedicated support available to enable the healthiest experience possible.

Our goal is to provide an outstanding bereavement service that holistically supports women, partners and their families through loss.  Lesley Ann is a very passionate and caring member of staff and I know she will work closely with all her Trust colleagues to ensure parents receive care which is clinically skilled, compassionate, consistent, kind and respectful.  ”

Based in Causeway Hospital but working across the Trust, Lesley-Ann will lead on the introduction of a dedicated strategy and training to ensure the entire Maternity Team are supported in implementing best practice and providing the highest quality care possible.

She will also work very closely with families to talk to them and find out their wishes in regard to their loss and associated experience.

Lesley Ann, Bereavement Support Midwife, explained her first real piece of work: “I feel very privileged to take up this new and extremely important role and look forward to making a real difference in families’ lives.  The first thing I want to do is to establish The Butterfly Group which will bring together relevant staff and parents who have experienced a loss so that we can start to plan and shape the bereavement service moving forward.  If anyone feels they would like to be involved I would be delighted to hear from them.”

It is anticipated that The Butterfly Group will meet six times a year initially and members can opt to attend as many meetings as they like.

In addition to the establishment of The Butterfly Group, the Bereavement Service plans to establish A Rainbow Clinic which will be specifically designed for women who have had a previous pregnancy loss and are now in a subsequent pregnancy.  A Garden on Remembrance will also be created in Antrim Area Hospital to provide a dedicated space for remembrance and reflection and bespoke bereavement suites will be developed in both Antrim Area and Causeway Hospitals.

Anyone who would like to join The Butterfly Group or would like more information should contact Lesley-ann.kennedy@northerntrust.hscni.net.

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