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Baby loss charity suspends counselling services in Cambridge

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Baby loss charity suspends counselling services in Cambridge

Mother holding the hand of premature babyImage copyright
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Karen Burgess said she cannot "bear the thought of a mother who could lose a baby and not be able to access our services."

A baby loss charity said the lack of funding forced her to suspend counseling in a maternity ward.

The service of the Society for Expectations of Pregnancy, Trauma and Loss (Petals) is due to end at Rosie Hospital, Cambridge, after NHS funding hopes have failed.

A spokeswoman for the institution said the high demand for specialized care meant it could no longer rely solely on public donations.

Cambs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it could not provide funding "because of its (own) financial situation".

Petals chief executive Karen Burgess described the decision as "heartbreaking."

The charity was founded at the Addenbrooke hospital in 2011 and expanded to seven other hospitals in Suffolk, Essex, Oxford and London, where CCGs "surrounded" their budget money, Burgess said.

Suffolk CCG provides £ 45,000 in annual funding for Petals services at county hospitals, she said, while services in Cambridge cost £ 70,000 per year.

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Five petal counselors in Cambridgeshire have seen 320 families in the last 12 months alone

"I can't stand the idea of ​​a mother out there who could lose a baby and not be able to access our services," said Burgess.

"The commissioner assured me that he would take the case further – I believed that.

"We are disappointed that NHS leaders in Cambridge do not take responsibility for funding this vital service, especially as their colleagues in Suffolk and northern Essex have made that commitment."

The institution said it would use "reserve funds" to support emergency referrals and was looking for a "sustainable funding source" to restore Cambridge's full service.

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Rosie is part of Addenbrooke Hospital Complex in Cambridge

A Cambridgeshire CCG spokesman said: "It currently does not fund the petals and unfortunately is not in a position to fund new services due to our financial situation."

A spokeswoman for the NHS Foundation Trust at Cambridge University hospitals, which runs Rosie, said she was "not hired" to provide funding, but would still provide postnatal counseling as well as access to a consultant midwife.

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