A bereavement midwife working at Doncaster Royal Infirmary received a special recognition award at the Mariposa Awards on Saturday 11 March for her outstanding contributions to bereavement services.
Rhian Morris, who has been in post since January 2021, has established herself within the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Trust network as a key individual for all things related to baby loss and bereavement.
The awards, run by the leading baby loss support charity, The Mariposa Trust, saw midwives, nurses, bereavement midwives, doctors and community members recognised for going above and beyond in the care and support they provided for people who have experienced baby loss.
About the evening, Rhian said: “The Mariposa Award night was a brilliant opportunity to recognise the efforts of so many healthcare professionals across the country whose aim is to improve maternity bereavement services and the care received.
“It was an honour to attend on the night and even more so to be a recipient of a special recognition award!”
Rhian has dedicated an astounding amount of time and effort to raising the profile of the profession of Bereavement Midwives, but also towards fundraising activities to raise money for the Serenity Appeal: a Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Charity campaign to raise money to fund a specialist bereavement suite at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
The funds have also meant a new mobile ultrasound scanner was introduced to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) at Bassetlaw Hospital. Remaining funds will go to a complete redesign of the two existing counselling rooms.
As part of her efforts to champion baby loss awareness and the Serenity Appeal, Rhian completed a 15,000 ft skydive, hosted several awareness stands through baby loss awareness week in October 2022 and regularly travels to venues to receive and personally thank external donors to the Serenity Appeal.
In addition to all of this, she works her regular position as a Bereavement Midwife with the highest level of care and compassion.
Rhian, and fellow Bereavement Midwife, Matt Procter, are the small team at Doncaster Royal Infirmary working in this specialised area.
The team is already leading change, such as the inclusion of all pregnancies of any gestation period within the birth statistics produced by the Trust, a practice that is not widely adopted across the NHS. The team considers this is an important move as they are committed to promoting a change in culture to one where every pregnancy counts regardless of the pregnancy term.
Her dedication to supporting those suffering baby loss is unquestionable. In previous years, she has worked on projects to create moulds of the hands and feet of the babies who have passed away, helping to ease the bereavement process.
As part of the bereavement role, the team ensure that all families that have had a pregnancy loss under 24 weeks and have sadly been born with no signs of life the opportunity to say goodbye to their baby in a monthly hospital cremation service.
The introduction of the Serenity Suite will mean that those who experience baby loss will have somewhere private and comfortable to grieve. The suite is purpose-built and will be designed to in such a way that it will be a less clinical, more homely environment, which will hopefully promote mental wellbeing during this devastating time.
The suite will be situated away from the main labour ward, ensuring privacy for these families.
The suite will contain a small kitchen, a bathroom, a pull-down double bed, counselling room as well as soft furnishings, lighting and being soundproof, all of which will help support the attendance of family during a highly sensitive time.
To find out more about the Serenity Appeal, please visit our charity website: https://dbthcharity.co.uk/serenity-appeal/