Find a solution to sending deceased children from here to Liverpool for post-mortem.

Find a solution to sending deceased children from here to Liverpool for post-mortem.

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Seana Grant started this petition to Department of Health Northern Ireland and

Losing a child is one of the worst things that can happen to any parent, when it happens unexpectedly, a post-mortem can be carried out (with the consent of parents, or if so ordered by the Coroner) to find answers to what happened. The great majority of paediatric post-mortems in Northern Ireland are babies who are stillborn, as well as late miscarriages and babies who survive only a short time after birth. It also includes, much more rarely, hospital post-mortem examinations of older babies and children.

The provision of this service in Belfast ended on January 2019 when the remaining consultant left, requiring that Post-mortem examinations be carried out on an interim basis at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool. Since then children’s bodies have been taken by ferry and air, accompanied by funeral directors to Liverpool.

It takes between 24 to 36 hours between the baby leaving Belfast and returning again after the post-mortem examination in Liverpool.

It is very often not possible for parents to accompany their child; this adds to the incredible trauma they are already experiencing, the prospect of this impacts parent’s decision whether to consent to a post-mortem, which ultimately may deny them answers about what happened to their child.

A post-mortem is likely to give important information. Sometimes a post-mortem does not find a definite reason why the baby died, however even if no definite cause is found, a post mortem may still answer some questions and rule out some possible causes. Finding out what did not because the death of a baby is helpful if parents think they may have another baby in the future.

The current situation here is far below what families deserve. We need to show there is  support to urgently find a solution - including an all-Ireland model that would minimise travel time for deceased children and time separated from their family. Currently paediatric cardiac surgery is provided on an all-Ireland basis, a model which is working well for patients families and staff.

Please sign and indicate your support to increase efforts to find a solution.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!