Mums-to-be who experience the trauma of miscarriage before the 14th week of their pregnancy now have access to a designated side room and care pathway at Royal Surrey.
‘Rebecca’s Room’ on Compton Ward – was officially opened by Rebecca Owen from Alton who lost her daughter, Isabella, at 12 weeks in a traumatic miscarriage on Compton Ward in September 2018. Although Rebecca was being treated for pregnancy-related bleeding, previous hospital practice meant that only mums-to-be who were experiencing miscarriage at 14 weeks or later were admitted to the Forget-me-not suite on the maternity ward.
‘It was a very traumatic experience losing Isabella,’ said Rebecca. ‘There was wonderful care but it was clear that the staff on Compton Ward weren’t prepared and weren’t sure what to do. I’d lost a little boy, Max, at 17 weeks, earlier in the year in the Forget-me-not suite and it had been an entirely different experience.’
After losing Isabella, Rebecca received counselling and kept in regular touch with the Matron for Surgery, Wendy Fuller. She also started a blog called ‘Muddled Mummy’ which compared her two pregnancy experiences.
Wendy said: ‘From the moment a mum-to-be sees a positive pregnancy test, she starts bonding with her baby.
‘Although the staff on Compton Ward had done their very best to support Rebecca it was obvious that we had to change our procedures. We invited Rebecca to come in and meet the Board where she talked bravely about her experience and helped us shape a new approach.’
‘We now have a detailed pathway for the nursing and medical staff to follow which should ensure seamless care. This includes training for staff which is specifically related to gynaecology.’
As well as the privacy of ‘Rebecca’s Room,’ mums experiencing miscarriage will also benefit from improved staff links with the Women’s and Children’s division which will improve communications and care for all gynaecology patients.
Rebecca following the opening of 'Rebecca's Room'
Rebecca - who is now 27 weeks pregnant – said: ‘I think the room is beautiful. It gives privacy to women and their families. It’s a big step forward and it’s so reassuring to know that this support is there for other women who have had this experience.’
The Trust is sharing the story as part of a week-long celebration to launch a change in its name.
The Trust started providing adult community health services for Guildford and Waverley in April 2018 and has decided to change its name, from Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to just Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.