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UHCW becomes first NHS Trust to sign Pregnancy Loss Pledge as part of compassionate leave enhancements for staff

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust has welcomed in the New Year by enhancing its compassionate leave for staff and has become the first NHS Trust in the UK to sign the Miscarriage Association’s Pregnancy Loss Pledge.

By signing the pledge, which forms part of a wider support package now available during the times staff need it most, anyone who experiences pregnancy loss is now entitled to 10 days paid leave (five days for partners) and paid time off is available for any appointments linked to pregnancy loss.

UHCW NHS Trust has also joined eight NHS organisations in signing the ‘Employers with a Heart’ Charter. As part of this, maternity leave for mothers of premature babies has been extended by the number of days a baby is born before their due date and partners of women will be given two weeks paid compassionate leave on the birth of their premature baby so paternity leave can be taken when their baby goes home.

Other additional measures introduced to support the health and wellbeing of staff include:

  • Bereavement leave for staff extending from three days to 10, with no limit on the number of episodes per year and in cases of child bereavement, colleagues are given 10 days fully paid additional leave.
  • Colleagues undergoing fertility treatment are also now able to take five days paid leave over a 12 month period.

Donna Griffiths, Chief People Officer, said: “The wellbeing of our teams is extremely important and we want each and every one of colleagues to feel supported during the difficult periods in their lives which we can all experience. We hope the changes to compassionate leave introduced will give everyone at UHCW NHS Trust the same care and consideration that they provide every day to our patients and helps them during the times when they need it the most.”

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “The Miscarriage Association is delighted to support UHCW’s pregnancy loss policy. UHCW NHS Trust is a recognised centre of excellence for miscarriage care and research and a wonderful exemplar of our Pregnancy Loss Pledge, demonstrating care for their staff as well as for their patients.”

Catriona Ogilvy, Founder of The Smallest Things, said: “We are delighted that University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust has signed up to our Employer with Heart charter, particularly as our Trustee Matt has such a special connection with them.

"We know that having a premature baby on a neonatal unit can mean caring for your baby under very stressful circumstances, often long term, and this time should not be considered maternity or paternity leave.

"Relieving the pressures of work and money on families of premature babies is at the very heart of our ‘Employer with Heart charter’ and now employees of UHCW NHS Trust will not have those worries if they have a premature baby of their own.”

To find out more information about the changes, please watch our video here.

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