Following a year of fundraising, a bespoke maternity bereavement suite has opened at The James Cook University Hospital.
Dottie’s Room, which is part of the new ‘snowdrop suite’, provides a homely space where parents who have suffered baby loss can meet their baby and spend time making precious memories without feeling like they’re in a hospital environment.
It has its own private entrance, so families don’t have to walk past occupied labour rooms, is completely soundproof and features a double-bed, an en-suite bathroom and a small kitchen area.
The suite was made possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of families, including Dottie’s parents Chloe and Liam, hospital staff and local businesses, who together raised £100,000 for the refurbishment.
Debbie Bezance, delivery suite manager, said: “Our old bereavement room was in the middle of our busy delivery suite, where you could hear all the sounds of a labour ward, including babies being born and other families celebrating.
“As you can imagine, that was really difficult for our bereaved families to hear when they were going through such a heart-breaking time.
It’s been our dream to have a bereavement room like this for a long time and I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped turn it into a reality. The new suite will, and already is, changing lives.”
Bereavement midwife Tracy Pickersgill said: “We are very fortunate to have such a fantastic suite available for families to use.
“Although it’s sad that it’s already being used, it’s a comfort to know that the new area is supporting families.
“I would like to say a special thank you to Delilah Ann Hothersall’s family who fundraised and donated a state-of-the-art cooling cot for the room.”
Lisa Meehan, from Our Hospitals Charity added: “We would like to say thank you to each and every family who fundraised and donated.
“We have been blown away by what they have achieved in memory of their beautiful babies, who have left such a wonderful lasting legacy.
“Thanks must also go to our corporate partners Geoffrey Robinson who have worked so hard to ensure this project was completed on time and to such a high standard.
“Without all of the supporters we wouldn’t have this fabulous room.”