"sensitive loving care - beyond all expectations -..."

About: Leighton Hospital

What I liked

I was an in-patient as our son Joshua was born asleep on 20 February 2012. The materity staff from the beginning of our care were amazing and beyond anything that we could have wished for. From my first ante-natal appointment we were treated with respect and care . We never had to wait long for an appointment and were never delayed. The ante natal scans were extremely thorough and explained exceptionally well. We had previously experienced poor care at North Staffs Hospital with our first child who has Down Syndrome. The difference in care between Leighton and North Staffs was marked.

When we discovered that we had lost our son, the staff were gentle and kind. They took their time to explain what would happen and gave us choices. When I was admitted as an in patient two days later we were given the specially designed suite at which both my husband and I could stay. This room gave us such peace that no other room could. The fact that not only could we be together at this awful time but in space and comfort. We had kitchen facilities and the outdoor garden so we could breathe fresh air when we needed to. The double bed meant that my husband could be with me for every second of what was the saddest time of our lives.

The maternity staff were all amazing. We were treated with such care and love, simply exceptional. There are no words to express how grateful we are to two people in particular. Our son was delivered with tender care and we were given precious time with him. Every step was dealt with the utmost sensitivity. The doctors were so kind and patient, thoroughly explaining every choice and what each would mean. One was kind, thoughtful and extremely protective of us particularly when we had a traumatic experience with the Deputy Registrar when we were registering Josh's still birth.

Our daughter is also under the care of Leighton for treatments associated with her Down Syndrome - again just wonderful care. Thank you xx

Anything else?

Just thank you for helping us through the most traumatic time. There are no words to express how wonderful you were with us.

We are most concerned to have heard that the room in which our son was born is earmarked for closure. We understand that it has been said by the new midwife manager to be 'a morbid place'. Please understand that for parents this room is not in the slightest bit morbid. It is full of love and future hope not despair. We have friends who have also lost their child in this room and they too found in the room and garden great comfort. I could not imagine how awful it would have been to have given birth in a 'normal' room. This room gives peace not fear. We know that this room is opened once a year for families to remember their lost children. To lose that opportunity to remember our son is heartbreaking. The circumstances of the loss are tragic but not morbid. It gave us strength to know that other families had their children there too in the same circumstances and that they too drew strength from the love. We know that North Staffs has a statue for remembrance and that the same is proposed for Leighton. There is no comparison. We chose Leighton Hospital for its heart and if the room goes then a piece of that heart goes with it.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Leighton Hospital

The bereavement room and facilities at the maternity unit at Leighton hospital are undergoing a refurbishment alongside the Labour ward suite.

The decision to remove the original room and attached garden was discussed at length with the staff and members of the public who found themselves in need of these facilities. The decisions for any new developments have been made with the best interests of both past and future patients and their families in mind. We also have the support of SANDS is helping us move forward.

The previous facilities do hold special memories for many and we appreciate how difficult it is for some to adjust to these changes ahead. We plan on creating a place which will be as special as before for anyone who finds themselves in need of this. All mementos from the room and garden have been stored away, some have been collected by families who wish find their own special place of remembrance.

We will continue to provide the same quality of care as we always have, although it will be in different but improved surroundings.

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