Forget Me Not Bereavement Suite Project at South West Acute Hospital announced winner of Davin Corrigan Award01/08/2023
Our Involvement Team along with the Davin Corrigan Family hosted the annual Davin Corrigan Legacy Award event in memory of their beloved son Davin. The Award brought to a close the Involve Fest West celebrations for 2023 which saw over 13 co-produced events with service users, carers and Trust staff across the entire Western Trust geography.
The Forget Me Not Bereavement Suite Project at South West Acute Hospital was announced this year’s winner.
Brónach McMonagle, Lead for Involvement within the Western Trust said:
‘We are delighted this year to coordinate the Davin Corrigan Legacy award as part of our week long celebration of coproduction and involvement across the Trust. A warm thanks to Oonagh, Anne and our involvement working group for coordinating each aspect of the event, ensuring the projects were given the appropriate platform to showcase their exceptional work.”
Brenda McCabe, Lead Midwife, South West Acute Hospital and Omagh Hospital & Primary Care Complex speaking at the Davin Corrigan Legacy Award Virtual Ceremony said:
“I would like to congratulate all the applicants as well as the other finalists for what they have accomplished in their amazing projects with their co-production.
“While the Forget Me Not Bereavement Suite Project South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen is very dear to the families and to all of the engaged co-production team involved – it cannot go without mentioning that winning this overall from public vote is just so rewarding. Baby loss and indeed any loss of a loved one can be a difficult subject to discuss and we are so grateful that we have had this opportunity to make more awareness of it. Like Mrs Corrigan mentioned today this ceremony is bitter sweet for her and Davin’s entire family. I would echo that for the SWAH Bereavement Suite Co-production team involved today.
“On behalf of SANDS, their members, the contracts management team and Maternity staff at SWAH, I would like to thank the Davin Corrigan Family for hosting this event in memory of their beloved son. This also extends to the Western Trust’s Involvement Team for co-ordinating the event.
“Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to vote and share with others to consider this project for a vote in this award. It shows that even with difficult service areas such as child loss, we as service providers and service users can work collaboratively to make service improvements. It highlights that co-production is imperative and the future way to help shape and form our services that are fit for purpose and to maximize that we get it right first time.”
Baby Ronan and his mum Michelle along with Baby Cahán and his mum Dervla represent all their fellow involved parents in this co-produced project……the parents and babies born sleeping before or shortly after birth, they too like Davin and his family have made a positive difference. Their legacy continues to be present and significant. It also has ensured that positive improvements have been made within our services to help other bereaved parents in the future in the loss of their baby(s) to ensure safer and more effective care.”
Dervla Cassidy said:
“I felt so honoured to be asked to be involved in this very important project and think it is so wonderful and very significant that bereaved mums and dads were invited to be part of the planning process, for the creation of the new ‘Forget Me Not Suite’.
“In the early hours of 9th August 2022, our world fell apart when we were told that Cahán had left us at 32 weeks. When he was born at 9pm on 11th August, I promised him that he would always be included in our family and that he would never be forgotten. As his mummy one of my greatest fears was that he would be forgotten about, as no one outside of our family got to meet him and no one truly knew him, apart from me. Being able to have an input in the creation of the new bereavement suite, feels to me like it is part of Cahán’s legacy and it makes me so proud that we, together, will have had some small part to play in helping other bereaved families in the future.
“The care we received both when Cahán died and in the following days and months down the line, was genuinely amazing. We are forever indebted to the wonderful midwives in the South West Acute Hospital, especially Bethany Herron, Charlene Follis and Ursula Fitzpatrick, who cared for Cahán, Kevin and I so compassionately. A special word of thanks must go to Melissa who has spent many hours with me, in person and on the phone. Her knowledge, as well as her gentle way, has brought me much comfort. The care and expertise of the staff in the maternity unit is outstanding. It is wonderful that they now have the new and improved bereavement suite and its facilities, to further enhance their professionalism and allow them to continue to provide first class care for those families unfortunate enough to be in need of the service.
“To lose a precious baby is nothing short of life shattering. To have a specialised suite with a designated entry and kitchenette will mean families can spend their few precious days with their baby, much more comfortably. They can also have their family or support system with them and have more freedom of movement. We spent 5 days in the bereavement room with Cahán. I did not want to leave him for a second which meant I was confined to four walls for the duration of my stay. To have been able to move around with him a bit more and not have to face the corridor of the busy maternity unit, would have made those days more manageable. I am so glad that families in the future will have this service.”
“The fact that parents who have actually used the room, have been involved in advising how it could improve, means that the service is much more personalised. Who could know better than those who have actually walked that heart-breaking path? Nothing can bring your baby back, but a comfortable and more homely suite, will certainly make those horrendous days that bit more manageable. The fact that our opinions were genuinely taken on board just proves how much the team in SWAH really want to improve the service for service users. I am so proud of all the team involved and feel this project is such a worthy winner of the Davin Corrigan Award. Between the Corrigan family and those involved in this project, bereaved parents have been united in our love for our wonderful children and a desire to help others in the same unfortunate ‘club’.”
Davin’s mum Aisling Corrigan said:
“Davin’s death has impacted so many people both within our family circle and beyond. The Davin Corrigan legacy award is something we as a family are very proud off. Whilst we have had to learn to live without our beautiful son every day, it is reassuring and of some comfort for us to see first-hand the changes and improvements which have been made throughout the Western Trust. These include involving and listening to patients, and patients family which in return leads to improving patient’s safety. Thank you again to all involved in making this happen every year. Congratulations to this year’s winner the Forget Me Not Bereavement Suit at the South West Acute Hospital.”
Speaking after the awards ceremony Western Trust Chair Dr Tom Frawley said:
“I wanted to commend the real impact the event had on me both in terms of the range of projects that were considered, but in particular the three projects that made up the final list of competitors. What really struck me was the lead role played by the participants in the presentations and I was a particularly moved by the eventual winners from the Bereavement Suite at South West Acute Hospital. Please accept and share my personal thank you to the Involvement Team and all involved in the Awards for the commitment, creativity and impact of these excellent projects.”