New midwife appointed to support bereaved parents

New midwife appointed to support bereaved parents at Hinchingbrooke

Cary McDonald - Bereavment midwife .jpg

Carly McDonald is the new Bereavement Midwife at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Carly started working at Hinchingbrooke in 2006 as an integrated midwife, working on both Labour and Lilac ward, and also in the community.

Carly, Midwife Sonographer, said:  "I have always had a particular interest in fetal medicine and antenatal care, especially for women requiring specialist care by a multidisciplinary team as a result of their medical and obstetric history. Therefore, I relished the opportunity to complete the Obstetric Ultrasound Course, qualifying as a Sonographer in 2009.”

In this role Carly performed ultrasound scans at all stages of pregnancy and continued to practice as a Midwife on the Maternity Day Assessment Unit alongside her Sonography role, caring for women who expressed concerns and those referred in by GP’s and Community Midwives. In addition, Carly was involved in counselling women following screening test results and facilitating referrals to specialist fetal medicine units.

Carly added: “In my role as a Midwife Sonographer, I cared for families experiencing the loss of a baby. Although a very difficult part of my role I found providing bereavement care particularly rewarding, acting as an advocate for families having identified their individual needs and wishes. This is when my aspiration to focus upon supporting and guiding bereaved families developed and thus following the advertisement of this specialist role at Hinchingbrooke, I spent time discussing the role with Lesley Carline, Bereavement Specialist Midwife at Peterborough. Having shadowed Lesley during a shift, I was inspired to undertake the challenge of this role at Hinchingbrooke. “

As part of Carly’s role she hopes to enhance the confidence of healthcare professionals through training sessions, whilst supporting and empowering members of staff caring for bereaved parents, with an opportunity to debrief following an event. I will be involved in auditing current practices, developing and sharing an action plan and managing change and innovation. Carly plans to re-establish the Bereavement Steering Group at North West Anglia.

“I will build upon current practices to develop a high quality, personalised and responsive service for bereaved families, that as a Trust we can be proud of. A key role is to act as a care co-ordinator, liaising with chaplains, bereavement care practitioners, neonatal staff and pathologists on behalf of women, whilst building positive working relationships with local support groups such as the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society. I will offer postnatal visits to bereaved women and families to provide further support and guidance, whilst listening to their views in order to develop the service in an appropriate and sensitive manner.”

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