By: 20 November 2019
New baby and infant loss consultancy provides ‘essential’ training

Every year more than 6,500 babies and young children die in the UK. While it is widely recognised that bereaved parents should receive high-quality support and care from professionals, it is equally important that professionals have the necessary training to feel supported and validated in this most challenging area of their work. In response to a growing awareness of this, a new specialist consultancy has now been launched, offering training and support to professionals working with bereaved families.

Bereavement Training International provides specialist services enabling professionals to feel skilled enough to support families experiencing baby or infant loss. Equally important is acknowledging the impact on professionals when a child dies, enabling them to look after themselves and each other. Our training is designed for all professionals providing care for parents when a baby or child dies, including midwives and student midwives, obstetricians, neonatal, paediatric and gynaecology staff, sonographers, GPs and other primary care providers, health visitors, counsellors and chaplains.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Baby Loss recognises that, “All professionals coming into contact with bereaved parents require and deserve continuous professional development on this subject.”

One senior neonatal sister at a large teaching hospital who recently experienced training delivered by our principal, Paula Abramson said she found the experience “invaluable” and “absolutely essential.” While she had previously been on several training courses to help her provide support for bereaved families, she was looking for training that specifically recognised the impact on professionals and would give her emotional support and practical advice, equipping her with the tools to support herself and her team.

I have learnt so much from Paula and the networking that has been facilitated through these days. I believe that training in the care of bereaved families should be mandatory for all staff caring for babies, children and their families. I would highly recommend any training facilitated by Paula.”

Principal, Paula Abramson is a psychotherapist with many years’ experience in providing bereavement support to families and professionals following the death of a baby or child. Having spent time in the NHS and the charity sector Paula recognises that more professionals need access to specialist training and support and is now sharing her expertise through a consultancy offering bespoke training both in the UK and internationally.

“It’s impossible not to be emotionally affected when a child dies. Too often professionals working with bereaved parents have had little or no specialist training to help them provide support to families and to ensure their own well-being. It’s important that professionals feel supported in this difficult area of their work, and that is what our training and consultancy services can provide. ”

Paula worked for more than ten years in the NHS, before joining the national charity Child Bereavement UK as Director of Training in 2016. In this role she was responsible for overseeing the provision of training workshops, study days and conferences for approximately 10,000 professionals each year. Paula is recognised as a leading expert in the area of bereavement support and has consulted on projects such as the National Bereavement Care Pathway, Baby Loss Awareness Week, NHS England Child Death Booklet, and the Pan London Neonatal Complex and Palliative Care Nurse role. Paula has been a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Baby Loss since its inception in 2016 and is regularly invited as an expert speaker on baby and child death at conferences around the world.

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