A number of interesting findings emerged from the NBCP Bereavement Care Survey carried out in England NHS trusts in April.
We are grateful to the 36 healthcare professionals whose responses have given us valuable insight as to the current state of bereavement care during the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fewer respondents than previous surveys (67% compared to more than 80%) said that providing bereavement care was harder given the constraints of the pandemic.
Similarly, some of the key issues raised this time last year were not as prevalent as previously with 35% saying that access to scans and appointments for partners was difficult to facilitate compared to 58% last year.
Furthermore, fewer respondents said that staff or bereavement suites being redeployed were barriers to high quality bereavement care compared to previous surveys.
This indicates that Trusts have responded to the calls made during previous waves to enable partners to accompany mothers at appointments, scans and during labour. One respondent summed it up as “we are better equipped this time round”
The survey also highlighted how trusts had embraced digital technologies:
"Digital has helped us reduce a lot of tedious steps."
Others noted the ability to use technology for PMRT meetings or delivering follow up appointments for the first time:
"We have learnt a lot from these waves and using online platforms for support has been very helpful."
Staff also raised concerns regarding lack of capacity and the emotional toll of the pandemic. We will continue to raise those issues in our influencing work; in the meantime please remember that Sands is here for you.
We are grateful for the ideas put forward about how we can help: namely training, resources, accessibility, information and national influence. These were cited as being of most importance and we’ll be exploring these themes further as we develop the NBCP pathways this year and run our workshops in the autumn.
Bookmark www.nbcpathway.org.uk for further details