Bereavement Suites

Abigail’s Place,
Medway Maritime Hospital


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If your hospital is considering building a bereavement suite and would like our support, either with funding, or with advice and guidance, we would be more than happy to be involved. Contact us if you would like our help.

Lady Astor of Hever, Patron of charity Abigail’s Footsteps, officially opened the maternity bereavement suite Abigail’s Place at Medway Maritime Hospital, on Tuesday 1st November 2016. Abigail’s Footsteps funded the major project and marks the end of a successful partnership with local construction firm CEC Developments Limited and other local businesses.

The Countess of Wessex visited the bereavement suite on 19th April 2017, along with charity Vice President Cheryl Baker, who said “At a time in parents’ lives when their world has crashed around them, it is a place of tranquility and calm, and which, I believe, will help to ease their pain.”

Diana Hamilton-Fairley, Medical Director at Medway NHS Foundation Trust said:
“The new bereavement suite will provide a place of solace and comfort for parents, where they can spend those precious last few moments with their child. This has taken months of hard work and dedication – particularly on the part of David and Jo Ward – so it is great that the project has now reached fruition. We’re also delighted to have the company of Lady Astor to mark this positive, yet poignant occasion.”

David Ward, co-founder of Abigail’s Footsteps said:
“We are delighted and honoured that Lady Astor is visiting the new suite. This is our first purpose built bereavement suite where parents can spend precious time with their stillborn baby away from the cries of new-borns. It is particularly poignant that our first suite should be at Medway Maritime Hospital as it was here that my wife Jo gave birth to Abigail who was the inspiration for the charity.”

Abigails place 2016

In April 2016 construction work began on the bereavement suite at Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent.


Lady Astor patron

Abigail’s Place was opened on 1st November 2016 by Lady Astor of Hever, patron of Abigail’s Footsteps.

David & Jo Ward with Countess of Wessex

HRH the Countess of Wessex GCVO visited Abigail’s Place on 19th April 2017, with David and Jo Ward.

Other hospitals we’ve been able to support getting a bereavement suite; these units will provide a space where bereaved families can stay within the hospital, to spend time with their babies away from the main maternity ward, but with healthcare professionals close by.

  • Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, working alongside Oscar’s Wish Foundation and Novus Property Solutions, bereavement suite completed in 2018.
  • William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, working alongside Twinkling Stars and Sands, the bereveament suite completed in 2018.

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