Belfast Telegraph

Bereavement group slams Trust's decision to axe stillborn baby coffin provision

Bereavement support group, Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) has hit out at the Southern Health Trust’s decision to abandon its coffin supply provision at Daisy Hill maternity unit.

The Trust previously supplied tiny white coffins to the hospital for transporting babies to the morgue; a provision that took a lot of stress from grieving parents said Sands.

The decision to terminate the service was not based on financial shortages but rather to ‘comply with other hospitals that don’t supply coffins’ a spokesperson for the Trust told Newry Democrat.

"We have recently implemented a Trust-wide policy regarding the transfer of stillborn babies from hospital ward to mortuary.

“Coffins are not to be provided for stillborn babies or babies that have died shortly after birth in either Daisy Hill Hospital or Craigavon Area Hospital.

“This arrangement has been in place at Craigavon Area Hospital and other hospitals in Northern Ireland for a number of years,” the spokesperson added.

Hitting back at the decision, voluntary group Sands’ co-ordinator for Northern Ireland, Steven Guy said: "The decision to withdraw the provision of coffins for the transfer of babies from ward to mortuary in the Southern Trust could have a detrimental impact on grieving parents.

“SandsNI therefore welcomes discussions with the Southern Trust to find a suitable solution to this problem as soon as possible."

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