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Paid leave for nurses and midwives who experience preterm baby loss or premature births

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust first English trust to offer package

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is the first English trust to offer such a paid-leave package

Nurses and midwives coping with preterm baby loss or premature births will be offered paid leave for the first time at an NHS trust.

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital and employs 6,500 people, has become the first NHS trust in England to offer the support.

The package includes up to ten days’ paid leave for the person who was pregnant, and up to five days’ paid leave for a partner. The support covers a miscarriage; stillbirth; abortion; ectopic pregnancy; molar pregnancy; and neonatal loss, and is not dependent on gestation of pregnancy or the staff member’s

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is the first English trust to offer such a paid-leave package

Nurses and midwives coping with preterm baby loss or premature births will be offered paid leave at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Picture: iStock

Nurses and midwives coping with preterm baby loss or premature births will be offered paid leave for the first time at an NHS trust.

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital and employs 6,500 people, has become the first NHS trust in England to offer the support.

The package includes up to ten days’ paid leave for the person who was pregnant, and up to five days’ paid leave for a partner. The support covers a miscarriage; stillbirth; abortion; ectopic pregnancy; molar pregnancy; and neonatal loss, and is not dependent on gestation of pregnancy or the staff member’s length of service.

Staff will also be offered paid time off for appointments linked to pregnancy loss, such as medical examinations, scans, tests and those relating to mental health. The trust has also pledged to treat with sensitivity any requests to work flexibly, following a bereavement.

Passionate about increasing awareness of preterm baby loss or premature births

The trust’s chief executive Sarah-Jane Marsh said: ‘As an organisation focused on the care of women and babies, we are passionate about increasing awareness of this important issue, especially as, for many, it still carries a stigma. Too many women and families suffer in silence and with one in every four pregnancies ending in loss, this has to change.’

There will also be paid leave for reasonable time off for partners going to antenatal appointments and five calendar days in any rolling 12-month period for fertility treatment, not limited to IVF.

Faye Sayers, a senior community midwife whose first son, Douglas, was stillborn in 2018 and whose second, Leonard, was born at 32 weeks, welcomed the new policy. ‘This will be incredible for women, families and other children to be able to have the time to be a family and process everything that’s going on at such a difficult time,’ she said.


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