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Rakhee Thakrar officially opens the Myrtle Bereavement Suite at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow.

September 21, 2018

New bereavement suite opened at Northwick Park Hospital

Parents in London who have been given the devastating news that their baby has died will now have a peaceful and private place to spend precious extra time with their baby.

A bereavement suite was opened at Northwick Park Hospital, part of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, in Harrow on September 12.

The Myrtle Suite has been funded by the hospital and also received significant additional funding from Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. It was officially opened by Sands' ambassador Rakhee Thakrar.

Rakhee is most famous for playing Shabnam Masood, the EastEnders character who suffered a stillbirth during an episode of the BBC One soap in 2015.

Rakhee says: "I knew I wanted to be involved with Sands from my very first research meeting, where I heard in great detail how devastating and utterly heart-breaking it is when a baby dies.

"I've been working with the fantastic team at Sands for a while now and I am honoured to open the Myrtle Suite, which will provide a quiet place for parents and families to grieve, receive comfort and make special memories with their babies."

The funds to furnish the suite have been donated by West London Sands, a local Sands group run by bereaved parents that offers support to other parents through regular meetings and also an individual befriending service.

The work on the bereavement suite began in March this year and was led by Bereavement Midwife Marva Wilson. She worked closely with two Sands volunteers, with involvement from midwives working in the delivery suite.

Located at the far end of the maternity ward to limit the contact with other patients, the room has been decorated in neutral tones to keep it light and offer a tranquil, private place for parents to grieve in comfort with their immediate family. There is a sofa, an en suite bathroom, kitchen area with tea and coffee-making facilities and a television.


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