Maternity team call-out for NHS staff feedback on impact of staff baby loss policy

on 05 July 2023 Midwifery Midwives Midwifery Workforce Maternity Services NHS MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Bereavement Care Miscarriage NHS Staff RCM Member Trade Unions Workplace representatives

A Trust in Birmingham is asking for feedback from NHS staff who may have benefited from a policy to support staff after pregnancy loss that they introduced and pioneered two years ago. 

The work at Birmingham Women and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust was led by RCM workplace representative Janet Ballintine, other Trade Unions and the Trust’s Chief People Officer, Raffaela Goodby. Working together they developed and launched the first paid leave for pregnancy loss policy in the NHS, enabling staff to have up to 10 days paid leave for the mother, and up to 5 days for their partner after suffering the loss of their baby. The team was shortlisted for an RCM award earlier this year for their work. 

The policy been so successful that it’s now been adopted by many other NHS organisations, with the team estimating that around 400,000 NHS staff are now benefiting from the work they pioneered. 

“As a midwife and an RCM Activist, I see first hand the devastating impact that losing a pregnancy has on everyone in the family and heart-led policies like this are a small step in treating our colleagues with love and respect," said Janet Ballintine “Our members have welcomed this policy and we feel it has strengthened our partnership with the NHS Trust as well as support our staff at a really challenging time in their lives.”

Two years on Janet, Raffaela and the team are looking in more detail at the impact of the policy in their Trust and beyond, to gauge its success and hopefully encourage even more employers to take it up. They are calling on staff across Trusts in England that have adopted the policy to let them know what the impact has been for them and for more ideas to support staff with parenting and pregnancy at work. They also want to find out if the policy has had an impact on sickness rates, morale, and whether it has helped to retain staff. 

To take part and support the team’s efforts you can complete a short anonymous online survey HERE. The survey has different routes for whether you are a person who had a miscarriage, a partner, a friend, or a line manager. There are also two prizes of £75 each of Prezzee Vouchers to be won for completing it. The survey closes on 24 July 2023.