Marc Harder, Sands, National Bereavement Care Pathway Project, Lead
Marc Harder, National Bereavement Care Pathway Lead, Sands | 25 May 2018

We are delighted to welcome Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, to our regular National Bereavement Care Pathway Blog.

It’s an interesting and exciting time to be one of the core charities involved in the National Bereavement Care Pathway. It is also very pleasing to see how far it has come, thanks to the many people who have put heart, soul and a great deal of time and thought into developing and piloting the project.

Looking across the five pathways within the NBCP, from loss in early pregnancy through to one year of life, there is a keen sense that while those experiences are bound to differ in many ways, there is much that unites them. 

For those who have experienced a pregnancy or baby loss, feelings of shock, disbelief, grief and loss are understandably common. 

So too is the need not only for excellent clinical care, but also for good communication, kindness, compassion and sensitivity both within hospital and beyond it. Those themes resonate across all five sets of guidance, from the earliest of miscarriages to the loss of a baby in its first year of life. 

But it would be foolish of us not to recognise that however impeccable our guidance, different settings face different challenges in implementing it. Limitations or inadequacies in staff numbers, training and direct patient contact time can all impact negatively on the ability of staff to provide good care. 

Part of the role of the NBCP, therefore, is to highlight and celebrate the excellent care that many health professionals provide despite the difficulties and constraints they face on a daily basis and, of course, to ensure that they receive the training and support that they need to care for those who experience pregnancy and baby loss.