The National Bereavement Care Pathway

Published on: 14/05/2019

Top Baby Loss Charities Come Together

When professional organisations such as Sands, Bliss, and The Lullaby Trust join forces to develop a resource, with the needs of bereaved parents at it’s core, you can have high expectations.

The NBCP, which has had the input of clinical advisors and parents at each step of its development, is a pathway trying to improve the bereavement care parents receive, after suffering a pregnancy or baby loss, in the UK. The partners who have developed the NBCP are seeking to improve the quality and consistency of bereavement care for parents, by having the pathway implemented in as many NHS Trusts as possible.  They have five separate pathways which each focus on a different aspect of baby loss, recognising the variation of loss and the individual elements needed to support loss across the spectrum.

These Pathways are:

. Miscarriage Bereavement Care Pathway- Miscarriage, Ectopic, and Molar Pregnancies.

. ToPFA Bereavement Care Pathway- Termination of Pregnancy due to Fetal Anomaly.

. Stillbirth Bereavement Care Pathway- For babies who are stillborn.

. Neonatal Bereavement Care Pathway- For babies who have died during or shortly after birth.

. SUDI Bereavement Care Pathway- Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy.

The NCBP Final  Independant Evaluation

The National Bereavement Care Pathway has received a large amount of positive feedback which reflects well on the hard work of the NBCP collaboration over the last few years. Health professionals have reported that the Pathway has given them increased confidence and improved their communication skills, whilst being able to follow a streamlined effective process. Parents feel they were supported to make informed choices in their care, and a wide range of support was provided, including emotional and hands on support.

The Pathway has also been praised by Jackie Doyle-Price, the Minister of Mental Health. She made this statement:

“Every stillbirth or baby loss is a tragedy and we remain absolutely committed to supporting parents through this difficult time.

This independent evaluation shows that National Bereavement Care Pathway has already helped to strengthen the support for many bereaved families across the country, but there is more to do and I would urge all NHS Trusts to adopt this approach to ensure all care surrounding baby loss meets these consistent standards.

Through our Long Term Plan for the NHS we are also accelerating action to halve the number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths over the next five years and improving access to perinatal mental health care for mothers and their partners. “

Following the pilot programme, the NBCP are now keen to hear from healthcare professionals, who are interested in implementing the Pathway in their NHS Trust. To register the interest of your Trust, click HERE to head to the sign up process.

You can find the evaluation’s key findings, or read the document in full, on the NBCP  website.