‘Listening Rooms’ open at Skeagh Cottage

14th October 2021

The Trust’s ‘Listening Rooms’ facility has opened at Skeagh Cottage in Dromore.

The rooms offer a private and comforting space for families that have suffered baby loss, with staff available to guide and signpost those bereaved – mothers, fathers and siblings – to appropriate resources within the Trust and voluntary sector.

The facility will also be used as part of the care offered by our two Bereavement Support Midwives in the Southern Trust. They offer practical and emotional support to families who have suffered the loss of a baby from 12 weeks’ through to term and advocate on their behalf on other projects, such as the development of the bereavement suites that opened in Daisy Hill Hospital in 2018.

The Warnock Family attended the ‘Listening Rooms’ launch to present a cheque to the Acute Services Fund for £3600. Ian and his wife Sarah have suffered the mid trimester loss of two babies and hope that there can be Bereavement suites in the Gynae wards on Craigavon Area and Daisy Hill Hospitals for women less than 20 weeks. Ian as part of his fundraising climbed the three highest peaks in 24 hours in Scotland, England and Wales, last month.

Oonagh King, Bereavement Support Midwife explained: “Sadly every week in Northern Ireland, four babies are stillborn or die in the first four weeks of their life. Work is ongoing across the UK to try to reduce stillbirths and neonatal deaths which are so distressing for families and the staff involved.

“Our ‘Listening Rooms’ facility is a safe and tranquil place, with comfortable soft furnishings and will be a supportive environment for our families,” she said.

Wendy Clarke, Interim Assistant Director for Integrated Maternity and Women’s Health added:

“Losing a baby during pregnancy or birth puts an enormous stress on parents and families and our dedicated, professional care is critical to the support of those bereaved.

“The ‘Listening Rooms’ will be a part of delivering that care  in the most sensitive way possible and offers families a private place to grieve the loss of their baby.”