SANDS Training Day

A variety of medical professionals, the majority of which were midwives, attended the recent SANDS training day at Cresswell.  It was a full day starting with a very emotional personal experience.  Kirsty Bowie left not a dry eye in the room when she told what happened when her son Jose died and the resulting impact on her family, both at the time and how it still affects them. 


Thank you Kirsty for your courage in sharing your story. 


The day was presented by Caroline Wright and Elspeth Forsyth from Forth Valley Sands.  They began by giving an overview of SANDS work nationally.  They encouraged professional dialogue between those present to discuss the emotions that families experience.  Everyone discussed best practice for supporting families by listening in a supportive manner and making sure the families feel heard.  They also discussed supporting families in making difficult decisions and making sure they have access to all the information required to do this. This information should be explained using clear vocabulary and leaflets should be provided as not all information can be taken in at this difficult time.  It is also important that the health professionals are supported at this time and they were encouraged to discuss what strategies work to support them.


Alison talked about the good work Dumfries and Galloway SANDS has done locally.


One of the memory boxes we provide was shown to all present and we discussed all the things that families can do with their baby to create memories.  There are many things that midwives can do to support the creation of memories e.g. taking family photos and taking hand and foot prints.  It was also discussed that families should have the opportunity to change their minds e.g. if initially they choose not to hold their baby.  The memories that families create at this time are precious and will last their lifetime.        


The feedback from the day was positive with many attending stating that they had a clearer understanding of their role and how to deal sensitively with parents and families.


Thank you to all who attended.


Thank you to Caroline and Elspeth for facilitating the day in a competent and interesting manner.


Thank you to Bill and Jan Johnstone for a lovely spread.