A new quiet room has opened at Great Western Hospital to provide a calming space.
It is intended as a tranquil place where families to receive and understand potentially upsetting news about their pregnancy journeys and babies.
National charity SANDS (Stillborn and Neonatal Death charity) has worked alongside staff at the hospital’s maternity outpatient unit and local woman Ceri Crannis to create the room.
Ceri, a bereaved mother herself, has been the driving force behind the project, ensuring that patients who receive often devastating news have a quiet space to think and reflect, away from the usual clinical environments.
She said: “The quiet room is now the ideal caring and private space away from the busy outpatients department for families to digest such news and plan their next steps.
“When the Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club facilitated the Dragon Boat Race in 2018, I entered a team called Swindon Sands Sailors, who threw themselves into raising funds in memory of my daughter, Poppy.
“We were thrilled to raise £5263.25 for the quiet room and I have carefully chosen all aspects of the room to ensure the finer details are just right for those that find themselves in a similar situation to what I went through.”
The quiet room contains hard-wearing furniture, mugs designed to encourage people to hold them with both hands, books to offer support and a sofa and chair designed to capture a hug.
The room was officially opened by Chief Executive Kevin McNamara and Chief Nurse Julie Marshman.
Kevin McNamara said: “It was a privilege for me to be able to open this important space that some of our families really need.
"The clinical environment is not right for people who are receiving such sad news.
“It is a huge credit to all those involved in the creation of this space and my thanks goes to them all. Despite being subject to various restrictions due to covid-19, this tremendous amount of work has still been possible.
“A special thank you to Ceri for focusing such efforts on creating this space so other families can be better supported in the future.”
Charlotte Warner, Co-Chair for SANDS in Swindon, said: “We hope the quiet room will be a valuable resource to the hospital, as well as the parents who may need to use it.
“Ceri has designed the room to be a comfortable quiet space for parents and their families. This is so they are able to process any bad news they have received, as well as process the new emotions that come from this.
“We would like to thank everyone who has made this project possible - we hope this room will have a positive impact for anyone who uses it.”