Walsall Healthcare has been chosen as one of 11 trusts across the country to pilot the National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) to improve the quality of care that bereaved parents receive when they suffer the loss of a baby.
The NBCP, which has the support of the Department of Health, focuses on all stages of pregnancy and baby loss up to 12 months. It was launched in London last week to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Nicola Wenlock, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Divisional Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health, said it was an honour for Walsall to have been chosen to be part of such an important pilot.
“Sadly some parents will experience the death of a baby either before birth or soon afterwards. Bereaved parents and the wider family need - and deserve - the most sensitive and individualised care we can provide at what is an absolutely devastating time for them,” she said.
“We want bereaved parents to feel supported, listened to and to be central in the decision-making regarding their care.”
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has appointed a Specialist Bereavement Midwife, Laura Atkinson, and part of her role will be to focus on implementing the new pathway.
As a pilot site, Walsall will trial the use of new materials, guidelines and training for professionals to help improve the care bereaved parents receive. The sites have been chosen as they are representative of geography, capacity and specialism.
A Core Group of charities and professional bodies is leading the NBCP and this includes Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity), Bliss, The Lullaby Trust, The Miscarriage Association and the Royal College of Midwives.