On Friday the 13th of April 2018 Karolina and Sheelagh joined the Bereavement Midwife Forum in St Mary’s Hospital in London. The forum was established by bereavement midwife Jane Scott in 2009; it is organised twice a year and offers an opportunity for bereavement midwives to discuss ways of improving bereavement care following pregnancy loss in England, from solutions to emerging problems to sharing tips and experiences.
Karolina presented findings from the report to the Human Tissue Authority on the uptake of the HTA 2015 “Guidance on the disposal of pregnancy remains following pregnancy loss and termination”. She spoke about the evidence collected by the Death before Birth team to support the claim that bereavement care following pregnancy loss is by no means uniform across Trusts within NHS England.
Karolina focused on issues of particular interest to bereavement midwives with reference to the HTA Guidance recommendations. For instance, when discussing disposal options of pregnancy remains, in addition to offering hospital-arranged burial or cremation, it might be worthwhile to provide a leaflet explaining other options, such as private arrangements, burial outside the cemetery grounds or sensitive incineration. Karolina also talked about practical aspects of funeral arrangements, such as facilitating parental attendance at shared funeral services, explaining costs to parents, and availability of ashes with modern cremation technologies.
You can find a summary of the report here.
And here’s Karolina and Sheelagh in front of Dr John Braxton Hicks’ portrait in the boardroom of Clarence Memorial Wing of St Mary’s Hospital.