Published on: 12 December 2023

Two refurbished maternity bereavement rooms have today been officially unveiled at George Eliot Hospital to provide essential support to bereaved parents or those who have received sad news following scan results.

The worBereavement Room Opening.jpegk has been enabled through the ‘More than a Room Appeal’, organised by George Eliot Hospital Charity, with the newly named Snowdrop Suite alongside Harry’s Room creating a private and more comfortable place for parents at an incredibly difficult time.

Ally and Steve Brown, who tragically suffered the loss of their conjoined twin boys at George Eliot Hospital in 2021 and supported the appeal closely, were asked to open the room following more than a years’ worth of fundraising and building works.

Steve said on the opening: “These rooms mean so much because it will make such a huge difference to peoples experience.

“We’ve supported this appeal because helping refurbish the rooms is so important to us because having self-contained, secure and comfortable place to grieve in your own way and make that terrible experience just that little bit more comfortable, easier, brighter.”

“This is our way of saying thank you to the maternity department for all they have done for us and our boys. We truly appreciate the team for always being there for and, by helping to create a better environment for people who suffer tragic loss like ours, we are ensuring our boys legacy lives on forever.”

The appeal has raised more than £25,000 in funding to transform the rooms, providing comfortable facilities for overnight stays which are soundproofed and a thoughtfully furnished environment to allow parents to process their loss in their own space.

Support has come from many individual and corporate supporters who recognise the importance of the facilities.

Sam Collinge, Bereavement Lead Midwife at George Eliot Hospital, said: “We can’t thank those who have made this possible enough. It was crucial to us that bereaved parents such as Ally and Steve were at the very heart of this project.

Feedback from parents that have used the rooms has been incorporated into the design, the materials and into the fixtures and fittings we have used in order to create the most sensitive environment possible.

“Over the past year we have seen an incredible team effort by maternity colleagues in designing the room and supporting the fundraising, alongside all our fantastic supporters.”

The work to create the rooms has been carried out sensitively in the busy maternity department to ensure as little impact as possible on other patients.

Natalie Green, Chief Nursing Officer at George Eliot Hospital spoke of her pride in what has been achieved: “We take great pride in our Maternity Service and the personal and professional way they provide care to all our patients, and I think these rooms are a testimony to that as they have been developed with our patients at the forefront of our thoughts.

“I’d like to give thanks to George Eliot Hospital Charity, the League of Friends, Community and Corporate supporters, individual donors and the efforts of Steve and Ally who have made this all possible.

“Nobody wants to use these rooms, but anyone who has the need can be reassured that they are in a safe place and the best possible support will be given to them.