When you go into the hospital for any reason you always have certain expectations about the care you will receive.
You expect to have a named nurse in charge of your care and a consultant that will coordinate and prescribe the right medication required. When it comes to the time to be discharged again you expect that you will be sent home with the tablets you need, a follow up appointment and possibly even an appointment for the district nurse to visit to change a dressing or remove some stitches. You would even expect that your GP will be informed of your admission and treatment you received.
Why is it then that when you have experienced the most devastating loss of losing your baby or child that some families are still being sent home with nothing more than a big brown envelope filled with leaflets, leaflets that will probably never be read and will end up being filed in a draw.
I can almost comprehend it when a family has come in through an emergency that they could slip through the net, but even then this is unacceptable.
But when a family have been going along to prenatal appointments and scans because their baby is unwell or diagnosed with a life limiting illness during pregnancy how can they be overlooked and almost forgotten by the people who are paid to be there to help.
Families that have found out only hours before admission that their beautiful baby has died before birth are usually given the care and emotional support they need to help them get through the birth and the next few hours but then once they leave the safety of the hospital ward many are having to struggle on alone.
Since we set up our charity we have been honoured to meet and talk to many families going through their loss. Many have spoken about the good level of support they received but many more have explained that they too were discharged home and left to their own devices.
This is totally unacceptable and it saddens my heart to see that things have not improved since we lost Charlie.
There is a difference in the levels of care received by families in different parts of the country and we are currently trying to find out the standards of care from as many different hospitals across the UK. We are also interested in finding out which counties have bereavement midwives and comprehensive bereavement support.
Unfortunately we know and understand how devastating the loss of a baby can be and we saw first hand the impact of no follow up support had on Charlies mummy.
To think that nearly 5 years down the line the standards of care upon discharge have not improved.
Something has got to happen to ensure that no family should ever have to go through child or baby loss alone. We will never stop campaigning for improvements and we ask that everyone who comes across our charity to do that as well and make bereavement support a major topic for discussion.