Cuddle Pockets Launched

Cuddle Pockets are designed for the compassionate conveyance of pre-term stillborn infants (less than 24 weeks).The patient safety team are launching Cuddle Pockets onto every DSA and LOM vehicle in the Trust from the 1st December 2020. 

They will be stored within a sealed plastic wallet with an information leaflet, found in the same place on a DSA as the maternity pack.

In use, the stillborn baby is placed inside the Cuddle Pocket and the ribbon tied together (see pictures below). The parents are to be encouraged to hold the baby during conveyance to hospital.
Once used, crews will be asked to seek a replacement from the LOM and note the cad number.  
LOMs will be able to re-order from the supply catalogue (U999 Cuddle Pocket).

Cuddles UK are a non-profit organisation co-ordinated on Facebook which has provided the Trust with 700 cuddle pockets for free by co-ordinating knitters throughout the UK. Each Cuddle Pocket has been handmade and donated to the Trust, so every single one is individual and unique. Some EEAST staff also assisted in providing pockets.

The project was co-ordinated by Jenni McClagish (Patient Safety Specialist) and Denise Kendall (Safety Advisor) after an incident was reported on Datix, received in March 2020, from Watford Maternity unit to highlight the need for a dignified means to convey preterm stillborn babies.
Daimon Wheddon (Clinical Lead) was pleased to assist with the project as it also addressed an action from a historic serious incident investigation he had been involved with.

Over 700  pockets were collected from Kent from the organiser of Cuddles UK, Ann Turner, along with Dawn Kerslake from SECAMB who worked alongside EEAST to launch their own version named the Lilly Pocket.

The patient safety team individually packed each pocket with an advice leaflet ready for distribution to all localities

Please download the PDF below for advice from the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) regarding sensitive and effective communication information.

Also watch this video for further information, including advice from Sara Davies, the East of England Neonatal Practice Development Lead, based at Rosie Maternity Hospital, Addenbrookes.

Should any staff wish to knit/crochet a Cuddle Pocket to assist with the ongoing supplies the pattern can be found in the PDF below.

Please send FAO Jenni McClagish, Patient Safety Team, Melbourn, Whiting’s Way, Royston, Cambs, SG8 6EN.

Published 1st December 2020