Providing health care around the clock


Introducing the Ruby Pack

Michele and Shannon LockwoodThe loss of a child is a tragic and very sensitive event, often quite unexpected.

After receiving feedback from a local family that experienced such a tragic and sudden loss, GV Health consulted with the family involved to develop a dedicated resource pack to help families coping with grief navigate their way through this very difficult period.

Baby Ruby collapsed suddenly, was unable to be resuscitated and died in the GV Health emergency department in December 2011.

During a review process with the health service in February 2012, the family came up with the idea of developing a bereavement pack for families to help them with the information, resources and support they need, specifically relating to the death of a child.

They provided a list of contacts and resources that they identified would have helped them and other families following the loss of a child; and this became the foundation of the pack.

The pack is presented in a personalized folder, designed as a memorial to Ruby. A personal letter is included from the family, which tells Ruby’s story and the origins of the idea for the Ruby Pack. The letter also provides support and encouragement to parents. The content includes publications sourced from local and regional services, including child and grief publications, the Coroner process, Centrelink information, funeral arrangement information, bereavement service options and social work department links.

The Ruby Pack, named in memory of baby Ruby, highlights GV Health’s focus on patient-centred care.

Through listening to the family and identifying the gaps and opportunities that existed for information and support, a valuable resource has been created which addresses previously unmet consumer needs.

Staff received education and training on how to sensitively and respectfully manage issues relating to the loss of a child. GV Health staff also worked hand-in-hand with other community services to ensure the flows and linkages work between families, GV Health and other key agencies.

The cost of design and printing of the pack was generously funded by the GV Health Foundation.

It is hoped that this pack will become a blueprint for other health services to adopt.

This year’s accreditation survey team commented that ‘the Ruby Pack provides a very good example of GV Health’s responsiveness to consumer comments during complaints resolution.’