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Expansion in number of trusts piloting baby bereavement pathway

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The number of health service trusts piloting a new bereavement care pathway for pregnancy and baby loss is to “almost triple”, according to the charity leading the developing of the initiative.

Stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands said this week that that number of trusts piloting the National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) would increase to 32, from its original 11 sites.

“I am delighted that we have so many NHS trusts enthusiastically supporting the development of the pathway”

Clea Harmer

Sands and its partners working on the pathway for pregnancy and baby loss announced yesterday that the pioneering project will be extended to a further 21 sites across England from April 2018.

The pathway seeks to improve the overall quality of bereavement care and end the postcode lottery facing parents and families whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth.

Five experiences of pregnancy or baby loss are covered by the pathway, including miscarriage, termination of pregnancy for foetal anomaly, stillbirth, neonatal death and the sudden unexpected death of an infant up to 12 months.

The new sites will be working with the project team to understand the impact of the pathway and its effectiveness in improving bereavement care for parents, said Sands.

The sites have been chosen as they are representative of geography, capacity and specialism and will begin to pilot the pathway from April 2018, noted the charity.

Sands is working to produce the pathway in collaboration with charities, including Bliss and the Lullaby Trust, and with the support of the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.

Among the other organisations involved are the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, the Neonatal Nurses Association and the Institute of Health Visiting.


Clea Harmer

Clea Harmer

Clea Harmer, chief executive of Sands and chair of the pathway core group, said: “I am delighted that we have so many NHS trusts enthusiastically supporting the development of the National Bereavement Care Pathway.

“It is vital to offer consistently excellent bereavement care and support to anyone who has lost a child or pregnancy,” said Ms Harmer.

“That’s why we are testing the effectiveness of the pathway in such a wide range of settings – from health visiting to GP surgeries, from neonatal wards to paediatric pathology and from midwifery to gynaecology,” she said.

She added: “I and everyone on the National Bereavement Care Pathway Core Group are very grateful to all those involved in its development, which will make a difference to so many families.”

The 21 new NBCP sites are:

  • Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Hospital
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (health visiting team)
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Newcastle on Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (based at Scunthorpe General)
  • North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (Oldham Hospital)
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals Coventry &Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The 11 existing NBCP sites are:

  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust – Queens Hospital, Romford
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust
  • Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust
  • Liverpool Women’s Hospital Trust
  • Medway (Maritime) NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (Barnstaple Hospital)
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
  • West Middlesex, Chelsea & Westminster
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Thank you & bless you all who evolved in this project.

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