THE HOPE BUTLER SUITE
The Hope Butler Suite consists of a private suite of rooms within the maternity area of the new Pembury Hospital for the use of parents who suffer the tragedy of a stillbirth or neonatal loss. It is named in honour of baby Hope Butler, who was stillborn at Pembury Hospital in 1995. The death of baby Hope lead to the founding of the Tunbridge Wells Sands Group.
This is the first bereavement suite in the country to be included in a new hospital from the planning stage. It consists of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen and it provides a private place for bereaved parents during the first traumatic stages of grief. Tunbridge Wells Sands raised the money to pay for the furnishing of the Hope Butler Suite. The furnishings include an adjustable bed, armchairs and storage units. There is also a special cot available to parents so that they may keep their precious baby with them for as much of their stay as they wish. We continue to liaise with midwives at Pembury Hospital to ensure that the Hope Butler Suite is as comfortable and well-equipped as possible.
We wish that the Hope Butler Suite was not necessary, but sadly we know that it will be used. We hope that it helps parents in the first stages of the grieving process.
Tunbridge Wells Sands provides memory boxes to bereaved parents. These boxes contain special items to help parents remember the brief, precious time they spend with their treasured baby. The items provided include a knitted blanket, a small box for preserving a lock of hair, two little teddies as well as special cards and leaflets.
TRAINING OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
Since 1995, Tunbridge Wells Sands has worked closely with medical professionals in the local area to improve the care of bereaved parents, both during and after their hospital stay. We have provided regular training sessions attended by midwives and doctors to help them understand the experiences and emotions of bereaved parents as they go through the trauma of losing a loved child.