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The death of a baby at any stage of pregnancy is a devastating experience. The Honeysuckle Team at Liverpool Women’s Hospital work to help people through miscarriage, stillbirth and early neonatal death.
Other women and families have shared their views about the support they needed, and helped sure the services work better for others it happens to.
Healthwatch Liverpool nominated the Honeysuckle Team for an It Starts With You award, celebrated as part of the Healthwatch Network Awards. They put the team forward for the award because of its dedication to putting people with first-hand experience of an issue at the heart of improvements to a service, and to helping people cope with their grief together.
The Honeysuckle Team hosts a monthly support group and a closed Facebook group for anyone who has experienced the loss of a baby.They also host quarterly support events, such as a picnic in the park to help families create positive memories, whilst remembering their loved ones.
One Honeysuckle mum who has experienced multiple miscarriages said:
“After the first miscarriage I felt so low. I tried to go back to work soon after but it didn’t work. Nobody mentioned it and I felt no one understood… Although even coming past the hospital makes me feel sick in my stomach due to the sad memories, I like coming here. They don’t try to fix you, they let you grieve in your own way. In time you can remember the positive memories of the pregnancies. They allow you the space to do that.”
A Honeysuckle grandmother whose twin granddaughters were stillborn said:
“We felt that nothing we did or said could be wrong, that they understood that we each had our own ways of dealing with it. We were all treated as individuals with our own wants and needs. Without the service it would have been very much harder for my son and his wife. It would have been horrendous”
Thanks to the women and families who spoke up about what they need at this time – as well as the Honeysuckle staff and volunteers - more people in Liverpool are getting the support they need.
The more that people share their ideas, experiences and concerns about NHS and social care, the more services can understand when improvements are needed. But, to make the biggest difference, we need to hear from more people.
You can make a difference. Find out more about our #ItStartsWithYou campaign or share your experience with your local Healthwatch and help make services better for your community. It starts with you.
The charity was nominated for an It Starts With You award, celebrated as part of the annual Healthwatch Network Awards.