A hospital suite designed to give parents a safe haven to stay in after the loss of a baby has been officially opened on the maternity unit at Worthing Hospital on Wednesday 27th February 2019.
The Maple Suite offers a home-from-home environment with a private entrance away from the delivery suite, with its own delivery bed, bathroom, sofa bed, television and kitchenette.
Joined by maternity staff, Love Your Hospital, the Trust’s dedicated charity and local families who had fundraised to support the suite’s development, the Mayor of Worthing cut the ribbon and expressed his heartfelt thanks to all involved.
He said: “We are delighted to be able to open a space within our hospital’s maternity department and it is certainly lovely to see our local families assist with the funding of such a personal space and to see them here with us today.
“On behalf of myself and the Mayoress, we hope that the families that use the space, albeit under emotional and upsetting circumstances, can find the suite homely and as comfortable as possible.”In 2017, one in every 225 births in the UK ended in a stillbirth. On average, nine babies are stillborn every day in the UK, making it 15 times more common than cot death.
For parents, parting with a stillborn baby is the first step in a long and difficult grieving process. A device called a Cold Cot, also available in the suite, provides a temperature-controlled mat placed at the base to keep babies cool and allow parents to spend more time with them.
Juliette Phelan, Maternity Matron for Worthing Hospital said: “Experiencing a stillbirth is so distressing for families and the staff involved. Our vision as a maternity team was to create a quiet, homely and dignified space to enable couples to spend quality time with their baby without being disturbed by the hustle and bustle of our busy labour ward.
“Sadly, the room is in regular use, but we’ve already had some incredible feedback from families who have said it has made such a difference.
“We now have a beautiful space in which we can provide support and care to parents going through a difficult time. I’d like to say a special thank you to everyone who has made the Maple Suite a reality.”
Shelley Kyte, a Clinical Systems Trainer at Worthing Hospital, raised more than £3,500 with her partner Mark towards the suite in memory of their baby girl, Rosie, who was born sleeping on 11 June 2015.
On what would have been Rosie’s first birthday, the couple completed a 100-mile run to provide funds for a new cold cot.
Shelley said: “The day Rosie arrived was also the day our world came tumbling down. After her birth, we stayed with her for a while, but unfortunately could not stay the night which broke our heart.
“We were surrounded by the sound of babies crying in the delivery suite and the happiness of other families as we left hospital without our angel.
“A few months later, we reflected on the care and space available to us and decided to take on a fundraising challenge so other families didn’t to have the same heart-breaking experience we did.”
Brighton-based company, Paxton Access, where Shelley’s partner Mark is an employee, raised more than £4,700 towards the refurbishment.
Paxton CEO, Adam Stroud, said: “A big thanks to Love Your Hospital and to the maternity department for all their support during this period.
“It is fantastic to see the suite opened and we hope that future families that will use it can hold memories of their child that can last forever.”
Pat Davies was admitted to Worthing Hospital A&E after falling seriously ill with sepsis, a serious and life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. “I was moments from death when I arrived at A&E,” said Pat. “The diagnosis came after I was transferred to Castle ward and it was there that I received the most amazing care.”
After receiving intravenous antibiotics to stabilise her condition, Pat gradually regained her full strength, and although she’s made an amazing recovering, it’s taken a while to get back to normal. To show her heartfelt
appreciation to the Castle ward team, Pat arranged a singathon event in January in the Penguin Foyer at Worthing Hospital. With the help of friends, family, local choirs and children from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Chesswood Junior School, Pat raised the roof for patients, staff and visitors – and raised more than £1,165. “It was a celebration of song, but of life too,” said Pat. “My life was saved and I wanted to show my heartfelt appreciation to the nurses and doctors who gave me a second chance.”
When Chris Sloggett’s son Jasper was born on 13 April 2017 at Worthing Hospital, both he and his wife Gayle were looking forward to going home and starting life as a family. However, after a relatively straight forward birth, Jasper became very unwell before they were discharged and stopped breathing while still on the ward.
After being rushed to the special care baby unit next door, nurses carried out emergency tests and discovered he had a serious infection. Jasper spent two and a half weeks on the unit and further investigations found he also had an abnormal lump on one of his heart valves.
Chris, 37, a teacher at Felpham Community College, said, “He was monitored 24 hours a day and underwent an exhaustive array of treatments and tests, but he received outstanding care and treatment from all the fantastic staff. The support given to my wife at a difficult time was second to none.”
It was this life-saving care that inspired Chris to raise money for the unit. No stranger to running, he had already taken part in no fewer than nine marathons already, however, this time round, he decided to take on the big one and embarked on a rigorous training regime to get ready for the 2018 London Marathon.
Setting a target of £300, Chris was amazed to see the pounds roll in and within just 48 hours of launching his JustGiving fundraising page, he’d raised more than £600. With support from him running club, the Henfield Joggers, Chris ramped up his training getting up a 4.30am in the morning and clocking in five runs a week.
On the day of the run, all Chris’s hard work came into its own when he crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 41 minutes and 42 seconds and a fantastic fundraising total of more than £1,560.
“Jasper is now a happy and healthy boy, something at the time we never thought would happen,” said Chris. “This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to say a big thank you to all the staff on the special care baby unit who helped to save his life.”
(Chris, Gayle and Jasper Sloggett)
A nurse from Selsey has adorned the outside of her house and front garden in Christmas decorations to mark the launch of a local hospital charity’s Christmas gift appeal.
Sarah Munday, 42, a dementia nurse at St Richard’s Hospital, has covered her place of residence with candy canes, reindeers, icicles and a 6ft Nutcracker figure to show support for Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Christmas Gift appeal is calling on the local community to donate online and enable the charity to provide presents for patients staying in hospital over the festive period.
The Munday family, based in Marine Drive, have become known locally for elaborately dressing their house each Christmas and attracting a lot of attention. As part of the gift appeal, they’re asking admirers of their hard work to kindly make a donation in the red post box in the front garden to support dementia care.
Sarah said: “We started decorating the house about ten years ago after moving from Bognor into a bigger property. It takes us three weekends to put everything up inside and out, but Christmas is such a magical time of year that we believe it’s truly worth the effort and we wanted to support the hospital’s charity too.”
With the help of her husband, Ruben, 50, and daughters Lucie, 17 and Jennifer, 19, Sarah has put up so many festive lights, local fisherman claim to be able to see the decorations illuminating the night’s sky two miles out to sea.
She added: “One year, we decided to go away to Australia for Christmas and returned home to complaints from locals that we didn’t stay to do up the house!”
Love Your Hospital has placed a Santa’s sleigh outside the Spice of Life restaurant in St Richard’s Hospital for people who want to donate a present for a patient. Those interested in supporting the appeal should get in touch with the charity office for guidance on appropriate gifts to buy.
Kerry Brunnen, play therapist for the children’s ward at St Richard’s Hospital said: “Although nursing staff do their very best to make this time of year as warm and welcoming as possible, hospital is the last place anyone wants to be over Christmas. Children just want to be at home opening presents with their family. We appreciate a donation of any sum which could help us buy our youngest patients a gift to really lift their spirits.”
A donation of £10 could provide a sensory toy for a child, £15 could buy an iTunes voucher for a teenage patient and £20 could provide a toiletry and slipper gift set for an elderly patient. As part of the appeal, Love Your Hospital is also asking local companies to get involved by holding a ‘festive fashion day’ for staff to help raise funds on Wednesday 19th December
Amanda Tucker, head of the charity, said: “Sarah has really got our Christmas Gift Appeal off to a fantastic start! We really hope the local community will get behind our mission to give patients staying in hospital over the festive period the gift of happiness this Christmas. We also encourage everyone to take part in our Festive Fashion Day too. It’s a really fun way to come together and support our local hospitals at this very special time of year.”