Bereavement service and Rainbow Clinic named midwifery team of the year

A team of midwives who run the bereavement service and Rainbow Clinic at Saint Mary’s Hospital were named as Team of the Year at the 2015 British Journal of Midwifery awards in London on Monday night.

The Team of the Year award celebrates outstanding teamwork in midwifery units that demonstrate the link between education, research and clinical practice in the delivery of a first-class service to women and their families.

The bereavement service and Rainbow Clinic was set up at Saint Mary’s in 2013 by four midwives and obstetrician Dr Alex Heazell to ensure that the women and their families who experience pregnancy loss receive the best care possible from the time of diagnosis of an abnormality or the death of their baby and beyond, into a subsequent pregnancy.

The team has incorporated principles from existing guidelines, sought and listened to the needs of bereaved parents and conducted their own novel research. This has resulted in new systems, training, resources and facilities being developed to allow all staff to provide seamless care in an environment which encourages a family focus, providing memories, follow-up support, postnatal follow up clinic and a specialist clinic for care in the next pregnancy; the Rainbow Clinic. The service is now regarded as a centre of excellence and its work has been recognised in Parliament.

Kathy Murphy, Head of Nursing and Midwifery said: “Excellent team work, drive and vision to improve care for women and their families has led to the transformation of this service which has had a direct impact on patient care.  I am proud that St Mary’s is home to this novel service”

How the team help patients

Kate was referred to the Rainbow Clinic after her son Scott died following complications in her first pregnancy.

“When I started at the Rainbow Clinic, I wasn’t ever sure that I’d walk out of the hospital with a baby, but as the weeks progressed they started to make me believe that was possible.”

Watch Kate talk about her experience of attending the Rainbow Clinic.