BEREAVED Clacks families who suffer the tragic loss of a baby are set to benefit from additional counselling and support at home.

The additional support will help families as they transition from hospital to home, thanks to a partnership between charity Held in Our Hearts and NHS Forth Valley.

As part of the initiative, the Hospital to Home service offers a range of support including help with planning a funeral or memorial, preparing for follow up hospital appointments, advice on talking to siblings and getting ready to return to work.

Anne Richmond, bereavement team leader at NHS Forth Valley, said: “At such a difficult and heart-breaking time for families it is important that they have access to a wide range of practical and emotional support and counselling.

“The new Hospital to Home service provides this critical support to families in the weeks following a baby loss when they have returned home.

“The new service is available to any family that has experienced a loss after 12 weeks and provides 6-8 sessions in their home with a member of the Held in Our Heart's Hospital to Home team.

“Families can also be referred for longer term peer support or counselling, if appropriate.”

Held in Our Hearts already provides counselling services for families in the area but the initiative will provide additional support as people head home from hospital, building on support already offered by the charity Sands.

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Jayne Scotland, project co-ordinator at Held in Our Hearts, added: “We will be working closely with local health professionals to help bridge the gap between hospital and home for families who have experienced the devastating loss of their baby.

“Our Hospital to Home support worker will work closely with families who have referred to us by their midwife to provide a range of practical and emotional support, tailored to their individual needs and preferences, over a number of support sessions at a time that suits the family.

“This can include assistance with planning the funeral or memorial, advice on how to talk about the loss with siblings as well as information and resources on coping with grief.”