Compassionate Limerick maternity space for parents gets transformation

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Marie Hunt, bereavement counselling midwife, with Louise and David Higgins, who lost their baby Sarah in 2017, at the launch of refurbished Rose Room Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22

Marie Hunt, bereavement counselling midwife, with Louise and David Higgins, who lost their baby Sarah in 2017, at the launch of refurbished Rose Room Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22

A SPACE where parents receive difficult news in private in relation to fetal loss or fetal abnormalities at University Maternity Hospital Limerick, has been transformed following a €7,200 boost. 

The refurbishment of the Rose Room at the Ennis Road maternity hospital is part of a wider HSE design and dignity scheme, in which more compassionate hospital spaces are delivered. 

The refurbishment included painting the door and walls, change of flooring, installation of soft lighting, removal of wall cupboards, new soft furniture, coffee-making facilities, and adding art to the walls.  

Bereavement counselling midwife at UMHL, Marie Hunt said that while most women have a positive outcome at the maternity, there are some who experience fetal loss or fetal abnormality.

“When a doctor or ultrasonographer identifies a fetal abnormality on the ultrasound scan or when a woman or couple have been asked to return to the hospital for the results of diagnostic tests, there needs to be a private dignified comfortable space where they can be met with compassion and cared for. 

“The newly refurbished Rose Room will represent our commitment to providing sensitive and compassionate care to women and their families when receiving bad news while providing a private and dignified space for them to receive their care,” Ms Hunt added.  

The official opening of the refurbished space was attended last week by Louise and David Higgins, from Oola, who lost their baby Sarah in 2017. 

Louise said at the launch: “We are honoured and privileged to be invited to today’s launch of the new Rose Room. The professionalism, sensitivity and understanding of the staff at UMHL is exemplary.

“The generosity and sensitivity of the ladies who knitted special basket beds, blankets and teddies for our beautiful daughter Sarah is overwhelming. All the kindness and warmth of the hospital staff is now mirrored in the Rose Room.” 

UL Hospitals Group CEO, Prof Colette Cowan said that the group continues to make progress in supporting families who experience loss in the maternity services.  

“A consultant perinatal psychiatrist was recently jointly appointed by UL Hospitals Group and HSE MidWest Community Healthcare together with a CMM in Perinatal Mental Health, and the hospital group is also well-advanced in implementing the National Bereavement Standards following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death. We are fortunate to have Marie Hunt, who was on the national steering group that resulted in those standards, and her colleague Rita O’Brien driving those service improvements in Limerick,” Prof Cowan added.

The Rose Room was part-funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation.