Today I visited a pilot project at York Hospital set up to support grieving families following the death of a baby. The National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) is being piloted in 32 NHS trusts in the UK, including York and Scarborough, to help professionals support families in their bereavement after any pregnancy or baby loss. This could include miscarriage (including ectopic and molar pregnancy), termination for foetal anomaly, stillbirth, neonatal death or sudden unexpected death in infancy.
The aim of the project, which is led by Sands and 12 other charities and professional bodies such as the Royal College of Midwives is to make sure that all bereaved parents are offered high quality, bespoke safe and sensitive care during the difficult weeks following their loss.
I know from the work I did in Parliament with the Parental Leave and Pay Bill which guarantees paid bereavement leave and from the incredibly poignant stories from some of my colleagues, who had themselves suffered bereavement, how devastating losing a baby can be. I also attended parliamentary events in October as part of the Baby Loss Awareness week when the focus was to improve the quality of and inconsistency in Bereavement Care, so I am certain that this scheme which offers professional support, will make a huge difference in helping grieving parents cope during this traumatic time.
Elizabeth Ross, Head of Midwifery, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really pleased that Kevin was able to come to the hospital and show his support. The Trust is committed to improving care and facilities for bereaved parents and we continue to work closely with York SANDS (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) on this. We maintain our focus on improving bereavement care for people affected by pregnancy and baby loss and we are pleased to be part of the national pilot for implementing the new National Bereavement Care Pathway, led by our bereavement midwife. The aim is to ensure that all bereaved parents are offered equal, high quality, individualised, safe and sensitive care.”
More information here: www.nbcpathway.org.uk
Photograph attached: L-R: Sara Collier-Heald, Matron Maternity and Gynaecology; Beverley Shelley, Midwife; Kevin Hollinrake MP Thirsk and Malton; and Liz Ross, Head of Midwifery