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Why I think a hospital death can be a powerful and beautiful thing

Francis Edwards says that with children’s palliative care you only get one chance to get it right

Francis Edwards says that with children’s palliative care you only get one chance to get it right and argues that society and the NHS need to get better at dealing with death

Picture: iStock

After 30 years of working in children’s palliative care, I retired as lead nurse for the paediatric palliative care and bereavement support team at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC) in April.

Just before retiring, I was contacted by a mother whose four-week-old baby died in 1974 and her request was: ‘I am now ready to read my daughter’s post-mortem report and I am not sure if you would still have it?’

It had taken her 46 years to be able to ask this question.

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