23 November 2023

Nurse recognised for dedication supporting bereaved families

An NHS Sussex nurse, who works with bereaved families, has been nominated for the national Elaine Thorp Award for Bereavement Care.

Faye Biggs, child death review specialist nurse

Faye Biggs, a child death review specialist nurse, has been nominated for this prestigious award, which celebrates her work in her rewarding and emotionally challenging role.

The Award is run by Sands, the UK’s leading pregnancy and baby loss charity, and aims to recognise the vital work done by midwives, nurses, and other health professionals to care for bereaved parents.

Faye has worked for the NHS for 30 years as a paediatric nurse, health visitor, school nurse before her current role. Over the years, her work has seen her care for and treat babies, children, teenagers, and their families.

She is now one of five nurses in NHS Sussex that work with parents who are sadly bereaved following the loss of their baby or child. This includes providing initial coping strategies in the early days, a space to talk and share thoughts and fears, supporting the family for as long as they need.

Supporting families at the saddest possible time, following the loss of a baby, is a role that requires compassion, empathy, and a wide range of professional skills.

Sands works to save babies’ lives and to ensure that anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby, receives the best possible care and support for as long as it is needed.

“In all those years of front line work I have never been nominated for such an award,” said Faye.

“I have been thanked with words and cards, but to even be nominated, shows me that I have done a good job, and that I should be proud of what I have achieved in my career and in helping others.

“Initially, I went into nursing as a 21-year-old because my mother told me it was a career that would keep me in work. She was right about always having a job, but my career has also given me the feeling that I have made a difference to others. I’ve helped people to get better in so many ways and that is a fabulous feeling. This nomination has made me look back at my career and helped me realise this,” Faye continued.

Allison Cannon, chief nursing officer for NHS Sussex, said: “We are all so proud and delighted for Faye. It is such a well-deserved nomination and one that recognises the very best aspects of nursing. It is a caring profession, and this award celebrates that in its truest sense.

“Many congratulations Faye – to be nominated for this award is a great accolade.”