Nurses and other care specialists in Scotland are getting extra support on having discussions with parents in one of the most difficult situations they will experience – stillbirths or neonatal deaths.
Two animations for healthcare professionals, one about how to discuss post-mortem examinations and one about breaking the news of a stillbirth, are due to be launched.
“Many professionals will encounter bereavement situations very rarely”
The videos, which form part of a range of resources developed by NHS Education for Scotland, are designed to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Dr Clare Tucker, who has been developing the resources, said: “Support around expected and sudden deaths by healthcare professionals is an important part of improving bereavement care.”
She highlighted that caring for the dying and supporting those dealing with grief around the time of death and in bereavement was “core business” for clinical teams.
But she added that healthcare staff needed support and advice as well, in order to “deliver the best care possible for those going through some of the worst moments in their lives”.
Caroline Lamb, chief executive of NHS Education for Scotland, said: “While some specialists may deal with death and bereavement almost on a daily basis, many professionals will encounter bereavement situations very rarely in their careers, particularly unexpected deaths.
“This can lead to anxiety and stress, not being able to find the right words to say or even knowing where to turn to for support,” she said.
“These bite sized animations and additional support will reduce the fear of the unknown and lead to greater and better support for Scotland’s NHS workforce and those they are caring for,” she added.
The animations will be viewable via NHS Education for Scotland’s Support Around Death website. Discussing Authorised (Hospital) Post Mortem Examination After Stillbirth or Neonatal Death is available now and Breaking the News of Intrauterine Death is expected to be published next week.