Midwife from North Middlesex University Hospital wins RCM and Sands award for excellence in bereavement care
The Snowdrop Service run by bereavement Michelle Lynch and other healthcare professionals from the Trust and was established two years ago. The bereavement care service was developed in close collaboration with bereaved parents and clinical staff, to provide a comprehensive and compassionate clinical service supporting families through childbearing bereavement and any subsequent pregnancies.
Midwife Michelle Lynch was presented with her award by Good Morning Britain news presenter Charlotte Hawkins at a glittering awards ceremony held at The Brewery in London earlier this week (Tuesday March 6th).
The Sands Award for Bereavement Care is awarded to midwives, MSWs and maternity teams who have demonstrated a strong commitment to delivering excellent bereavement care and to those who have developed initiatives to improve bereavement care and over the past two years The Snowdrop Service has done this.
This service now offers mothers and families a postnatal appointment at home if preferred, they also run a fetal clinic supporting families with lethal pre-natal diagnoses and care-planning for meeting their baby, support 'surgeries' and monthly support coffee mornings for EPAU patients.
Commenting, Gill Walton Chief Executive and General Secretary at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “I wish to congratulate Michelle for all the great work she has done in developing The Snowdrop Service. One of the saddest events in life is to lose and child. It’s utterly devastating for parents and having the right care and support services in place is crucial.
It is really great to see midwives and wider maternity care team responsively come together to establish a service driven by the needs of bereaved parents."
Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity), said: “I am delighted that Michelle Lynch has been awarded the Sands award for excellence in bereavement care for the outstanding work of the Snowdrop Service.
“Every week in the UK, over 100 babies die just before, during or shortly after birth. The care that parents receive at this time is of crucial importance for their physical and mental health, both in the short and long term. Whilst no level of care can remove the grief that many parents will feel, good care can make a devastating experience feel more manageable.
“It is so important to recognise the work of midwives like Michelle who are able to offer the bereavement care that parents need and deserve. I would like to both congratulate Michelle and thank her for all the wonderful work that she does.”
Deborah Wheeler, director of nursing and midwifery at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We are so proud of Michelle and the compassion, responsiveness and leadership she has demonstrated in developing our Snowdrop Service.
The feedback we receive from families who have needed to use our bereavement service indicates that Michelle’s work and her personal dedication to this field is incredibly highly valued, and her ongoing commitment to continually improving the care and support available to families is a huge strength for the Trust and the services we provide for our local communities.”
More information on the RCM’s Annual Midwifery Awards is available to view here: https://www.rcmawards.com/
On social media use the hashtag #rcmawards #midwiferymoments
Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) https://www.sands.org.uk/
For further information please contact the RCM Media Relations Team on 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]
Notes to editors
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/