Baby loss counselling service launches in Harlow
A much-needed support service for parents who have experienced the loss of a baby, has come to the Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (PAHT) in Harlow. Petals, the baby loss counselling charity, is opening a new branch of its service at the hospital today.
After seeing the devastating psychological impact of baby loss on parents coming through the hospital, local bereavement midwife Debbie Bridgewater launched an ambitious plan to raise the funds needed for a pilot year, and to secure a counselling room within the hospital.
"So many of those who have supported us have been bereaved families who want to ensure that Petals is available for anyone who might need them in Harlow in the future. It is always so inspiring to see parents who have suffered the loss of a baby act so selflessly at such a difficult time," explained Debbie.
Fundraising efforts have included an abseil down Harlow Water Tower which many PAHT staff and supporters took part in.
As a result of all of these efforts, Petals counsellors will now be able to offer support to any parents at PAHT who experience miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss.
PAHT joins other progressive hospitals in Cambridge, London, Oxford and Ipswich that have all recognised the fundamental importance of psychological care for bereaved parents after the loss of a baby. Petals services in those areas have all proved hugely successful and the charity has high hopes for the latest addition.
Karen Burgess, Chief Executive of Petals said: "This project is an inspiring collaboration of hospital staff, bereaved parents, and community and charity supporters. Everyone involved can take pride in the launch of Petals counselling service in Harlow with the knowledge that bereaved parents at the Princess Alexandra maternity service will now have the option of our specialist counselling support".
Andrea Philip, Associate Director of Operations, Families and Women's Health, said: "The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust fully supports the Petals counselling service for our women and families here at PAHT, therefore we have opened up the service to all of our families who may not have been able to access the service in Cambridge due to the distance."
The launch coincided with Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs every year from 9-15 October. Any bereaved parents in Harlow who would like support from Petals should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.