A project to improve the quality of care that bereaved families receive when their baby dies has been found to be making a big difference, and should be rolled out nationally, a new study has found.

To ensure bereaved parents and their families are supported in the best way possible, the National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) was launched in 2017 and has been piloted in 32 NHS Trusts in England. The NBCP helps professionals to provide families with a greater consistency and quality of bereavement care after pregnancy or baby loss.

Independent research previously highlighted improvements made in the 11 Wave one sites when it reported its findings in October 2018. The final report relating to 21 Wave two sites published May 2019 analyses the experiences of bereavement care from parents and healthcare professionals.

The results have revealed high levels of satisfaction with the bereavement care they received when their baby died. Parents also said the hospital was a caring and supportive environment, they were treated with respect and many feel the decisions they made in the hospital were the right ones at the time.

Collaborators in the project, including the Institute of health Visiting, are calling on NHS Trusts to adopt the National Bereavement Care Pathway and adhere to nine specific bereavement care standards.

Since the Pathway was introduced, more health care professionals feel they now have consistent and clear guidelines which support them to provide good quality care for bereaved parents. The Pathway has improved the dialogue between hospital departments which has helped professionals to deliver care more consistently.

NHS Trusts are being encouraged to take up the NBCP as part of the collaboration’s roll out plans. A number have already taken part in local workshops to identify gaps in local practice and to develop plans to improve bereavement care, based on the 9 bereavement care standards promoted by the group.

Further information regarding these standards, how to register with the pathway and other details can be found at www.nbcpathway.org.uk

The National Bereavement Care Pathway is being led by: Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity), Bliss, The Lullaby Trust, The Miscarriage Association, ARC (Antenatal Results & Choices), Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, Neonatal Nurses Association, Institute of Health Visiting, NHS England.

Call for good local practice and pathway examples:

  • Speech, language and communication local practice and pathway (0-5 years)
  • Evidence-based speech, language and communication training for health visitors/ health visiting teams

Public Health England has formed a partnership with the Department for Education as part of their Social Mobility Action Plan to address the “word gap” and the inequalities associated with speech, language and communication needs in the early years. They are pleased to share the first of a series of regular communications with you in this briefing by Wendy Nicholson.

The programme of work will include training for health visitors on speech, language and communication needs; the introduction of an early language assessment tool to support clinical decision-making; and the development of a model pathway for services for children 0-5 years to promote language and early identification/ interventions for children with speech, language and communication needs.

There are some excellent examples of innovative, evidence-driven practice in parts of the country and PHE would like to learn from your experiences and work with you to develop a model pathway for speech, language and communication for children 0-5 years.

If you would like to be involved in this work, please complete a short case study example describing the model/ training that you have developed and any evidence of outcomes.

Please submit your case studies to [email protected] by COP Tuesday 29 May (if you are unable to meet this deadline – please get in touch with Alison directly).

PHE will review all case studies and plan to hold a workshop at the end of June/ beginning of July at Wellington House in London to develop the pathway. They will be inviting representatives from areas with good practice examples to join with them and members of their Expert Advisory Group to develop this programme of work.

If you would like to discuss your ideas informally, please contact Alison Morton by email and she will arrange a call.

The Institute is pleased to be one of the key partners in the project group working to deliver a National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) for England, with the support of Department of Health and All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Baby Loss.

This invaluable project, led by SANDS, includes partners from professional bodies, charities, parents and families with the aim of ensuring that all bereaved parents are offered equal, high quality, individualised, safe and sensitive care following pregnancy and baby loss (up to 1 year of age).

Pilot sites for the roll-out of the pathway and guidance materials were launched on 9 October (to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week) and will be independently evaluated, with the second wave of the pilot planned for April 2018.

We are really keen to support the project group with identification of community health providers (which employ health visitors) that are willing to be included in the second pilot phase – to ensure that the pathway offers clear, consistent guidance to health visitors to enable them to work confidently alongside parents, providing compassionate and parent-centred care to those affected through use of the pathway.

If you would like to know more about becoming a pilot site please contact Project Lead Marc Harder ([email protected]).

Look out for further news about the NBCP or tweets with hashtag #nbcp.

The Institute is pleased to be one of the key partners in the project group working to deliver a National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) for England, with the support of Department of Health and All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Baby Loss.

This invaluable project, led by SANDS, includes partners from professional bodies, charities, parents and families with the aim of ensuring that all bereaved parents are offered equal, high quality, individualised, safe and sensitive care following pregnancy and baby loss (up to 1 year of age).

Pilot sites for the roll out of the pathway and guidance materials are being launched on 9 October (to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week) and will be independently evaluated, with the second wave of the pilot planned for April 2018.

We are really keen to support the project group with identification of community health providers (which employ health visitors) that are willing to be included in the second pilot phase – to ensure that the pathway offers clear, consistent guidance to health visitors to enable them to work confidently alongside parents, providing compassionate and parent-centred care to those affected through use of the pathway.

If you would like to know more about becoming a pilot site please contact Project Lead Marc Harder ([email protected]).

Look out for further news about the NBCP or tweets with hashtag #nbcp.

See Marc’s latest blog