Multi-disciplinary bereavement team, Emotional care, Medical care, Spiritual care, evidence-based practise.
Objective The multi-disciplinary bereavement team focuses on all aspects of care including emotional, medical and spiritual, in accordance with international evidence-based practise. While there are universal commonalities in the pain of grief involved in stillbirth, we wished to refine our practise based on the needs of our specific patient group. We surveyed bereaved parents from 2011 to discover how they felt about the care they received and to look for their views on the bereavement team.
Study design Parents were contacted to explain the objectives of the survey and to obtain their consent. Two copies were then sent to each home, one for each partner.
Results In total 36 completed questionnaires were returned: 21/29 mothers, 15/28 fathers. Only 38% of respondents strongly agreed that on diagnosis they received written information or contact support. While most felt that they were facilitated in spending high quality precious time with their baby, not all felt this need was met on the labour ward. The majority, 90%, of parents felt post-mortem was explained sensitively but not always clearly. Only 47% of parents met their consultant during their inpatient care, and half felt they did not have a timely postnatal visit to meet a consultant. All parents said that “kindness and sensitivity of staff” was a vital aspect of their care.
Discussion These findings identify routes for modifying the care we provide. Prioritising our bereaved parents’ views supports and expands an open culture, in which we empower our parents in their continuing grieving process.