Let’s Talk about Miscarriage

Leader(s)Rachel Whittal-Williams and Sylvia Jones
LocationHywel Dda University Health Board
DurationDecember 2015 – June 2017
Received for PublicationSeptember 2017

The project idea developed from a growing awareness of the lack of support currently offered to women who experience a miscarriage. The Miscarriage Association (2015) states that one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. This growing awareness, coupled with the fact that care delivery to patients attending the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) and Gynaecology ward has significantly changed over recent years, and the reorganisation of the Women and Children’s Health Services within Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) resulting in the centralisation of services (Hywel Dda University Health Board, 2014), all led to the project being very poignant and timely.

In total the project has facilitated 16 events, discussions and meetings to promote ‘Let’s talk about miscarriage’. Ten patient stories were gathered from which three main themes emerged identifying what is important to women about their care:

Safe Space – providing a space which is private, supportive staff
Active Listening – individualised treatment
Honest and Open Relationship – sensitive but factual and truthful, information giving
Values and beliefs work with staff identified that they felt there was a need for formal training and clinical supervision. The project has inspired other services to become involved in miscarriage care such as Ty Cymorth Bereavement Services, individual staff nurses and the HDUHB Patient Experience Manager. This has resulted in several ‘spin off’ projects such as developing the ways patients access patient information, the development of pocket sized signpost cards, the development of miscarriage specific work based competencies and the introduction of clinical supervision.

The stories continue to be re-told through an external national production with a neighbouring Health Board, with the consent and permission of the project participants. This demonstrates that the work of the project will continue and the true power of change lies in the patient stories which can be told time and time again.

This project was supported by the FoNS Patients First Programme in partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

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