Snowdrop Suite: A new space for grieving families at Rotherham Hospital

A NEW bereavement suite to provide comfort to parents who sadly lose a baby has opened at Rotherham Hospital.
The Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Tajamal Khan, opening the Snowdrop Suite at Rotherham Hospital. Left - Shahida Mehrban, specialist bereavement midwife. Right - lead midwife, Wharncliffe Ward, Hayley Lea.The Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Tajamal Khan, opening the Snowdrop Suite at Rotherham Hospital. Left - Shahida Mehrban, specialist bereavement midwife. Right - lead midwife, Wharncliffe Ward, Hayley Lea.
The Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Tajamal Khan, opening the Snowdrop Suite at Rotherham Hospital. Left - Shahida Mehrban, specialist bereavement midwife. Right - lead midwife, Wharncliffe Ward, Hayley Lea.

The facility was completed as a result of donations to Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s flagship Purple Butterfly Appeal, which was launched 13 years ago to raise money to support end of life care and to fund Purple Butterfly rooms at the hospital.

The final appeal project saw the existing bereavement facilities on the labour ward relocated to the front, next to reception, ensuring parents who suffer the tragic loss of a child can grieve in privacy.

Midwives named the room the Snowdrop Suite and it was formally opened by the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Tajamal Khan, at a special event to thank fundraisers.

Specialist bereavement midwife Shahida Mehrban said: “As our busy hospital environment has evolved, it felt more appropriate to have an easily accessible suite away from the main ward area where, should the worst happen, a family can spend time together in private.

“Enhancing our environment in this way helps us to provide much needed compassionate care.”

Following the appeal’s launch in 2009, trust colleagues, community groups, businesses and individuals have gone on to raise almost £693,500, enabling the charity to fund three extra Purple Butterfly rooms on wards A2, B11 and Fitzwilliam.

This year, the Purple Butterfly Appeal will be replaced by Purple Butterfly In Memory Giving which will give families who have sadly lost a loved one the opportunity to continue to donate in their memory.

And while the charity won’t be fundraising for any more Purple Butterfly rooms, the funds already raised will be spent on the upkeep of the existing rooms, ensuring they continue to be comforting and valued spaces.

The chairty said money donated to the new campaign would be spent on end-of-life care and the existing rooms if necessary, but mainly used where there is assessed to be the greatest need, and to enhance care to patients across the trust.

Head of fundraising Rachael Dawes said: “Every penny donated has enabled us to create spaces for people nearing the end of their lives and their families, or who have lost a baby, to spend time together in comfort and privacy when time is most precious.

“We couldn’t be more grateful — thank you.”