Following the death of her son, nineteen minutes after he was born, a Leeds mum is calling for better support for the families of bereaved parents.
Carrie-Ann Rose Curtis is fundraising to start her own charity that will provide 24 hour support.
Almost seven months ago, her son Charlie died shortly after birth. He had been diagnosed with Potters Syndrome while she was pregnant.
While Carrie-Ann says she was given the time and space to grieve while she was being cared for in hospital, she says that stopped when she left. Despite being offered counselling, she still hasn’t been given an appointment.
She’s also criticised health workers who have been contacting her about getting jabs for Charlie and questioning her about breast feeding, despite his death.
Carrie-Ann told Radio Aire
“I think because it’s happened so much I kind of brush it aside, but any other parent, that could tip them over the edge. It’s in my notes so I don’t see why it’s so hard to read them.”
Carrie Ann’s mum Sam said:
"As soon as you step out of the hospital, that’s it you’re on your own. And if you haven’t got family of supportive friends, I don’t know who people [would] turn to”
In a statement to Radio Aire a spokesperson for Middleton Park Surgery said: “We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the family at this difficult time.
“As a GP practice we pride ourselves on the high-quality and personal service we provide our patients. We are disappointed to hear that on this occasion we fell below the standards we set ourselves and more importantly the level of service our patients expect from us. We will work closely with the family as well as our healthcare colleagues to find out how we can work together to prevent such an issue happening again in the future.”
A spokesperson for NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The death of a baby is a traumatic experience for any parent and we would like to express our condolences to the family who have sadly lost their child.
“While we cannot discuss an individual case we are aware of the issues raised by the family concerned and will look to address these with our partners including Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trusts and our member GP practices.
“Parents who have lost a baby are currently offered support through specially trained bereavement midwives as well as through services we commission from Cruse Bereavement. We are currently working with the Leeds Maternity Liaison Services Committee to review the availability and levels of support available to bereaved parents. As part of this review we will look to work with patients and the wider public, as well as healthcare professionals, so that they can feedback their experiences in an effort to provide appropriate and responsive services at a difficult time.”
The family are now raising money to open Charlie’s Angel Centre in Leeds. You can read more about it here. http://www.charlies-angel-centre.org.uk