Marc Harder, Sands, National Bereavement Care Pathway Project, Lead
Marc Harder, National Bereavement Care Pathway Lead, Sands | 16 November 2017

The last month has given us opportunity to draw breath after the excitement of the National Bereavement Care Pathway Wave 1 launch. I’m pleased to say that feedback from the pilot sites is encouraging  and I’ll be able to update you in the December blog.

I’m delighted to announce that Teddy’s Wish  is partnering with us on the NBCP project. By financially supporting the evaluation programme, Teddy’s Wish’s founders, Jen and Chris Reid, have given our recent momentum a further boost and we are enormously grateful to them and their supporters.

I’ve asked them to write this month’s blog in order to explain a bit more about the charity and why they are supporting us in this way:

Why we funded the National Bereavement Care Pathway evaluation

Edward Louis Reid was born on 18 January 2014. Our first baby, he was the brightest light to shine in our lives.

"There was no attributable cause, no finger to point, no blame to apportion. We felt helpless."

Tragically, 3 months later on 16 April 2014 he left us, a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), formerly known as Cot Death. This was the most devastating loss imaginable and that light was extinguished.

We were left with no reason why our beautiful baby had died. There was no attributable cause, no finger to point, no blame to apportion. We felt helpless.

Out of a desperate need to understand why and to search for answers, we set up our charity Teddy's Wish just three months later. We fund research into the causes of SIDS, neonatal death and stillbirth and provide support for grieving families. No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child but for those that do, we know how important it is to be given the love and support to help repair their broken lives.

We have helped to fund The National Bereavement Care Pathway to provide hope for grieving families. We want to ensure that each family will experience the same high levels of understanding, compassion and support from everyone across the healthcare and broader services community, irrespective of where that family may live.

Grief is an individual journey. The emotions, the depth of anguish, are too powerful to contain and whenever they surface are always as crushing and painful as ever before. Proper consistent support is critical for every parent, without which it is impossible to make those crucial tentative steps towards imagining hope once again.

"We want to make Edward proud of his mummy and daddy."

We know our charity won't bring Edward back, but we hope his legacy will help other families who have been similarly devastated by loss, and in time dramatically reduce the numbers affected each year. We want to honour Edward’s memory, to keep his light shining brightly and to make him proud of his mummy and daddy.

I’m pleased also to announce that in the summer we went through a robust procurement process and awarded the contract to evaluate the NBCP to Fiveways. Fiveways is a small consultancy ‘working with charities to increase their impact…’ and clearly, that is what the NBCP is all about – increasing our collective impact to support bereaved parents up and down the country, just like Teddy’s Wish.

The Fiveways team has already started a survey of healthcare professionals in the wave 1 pilot sites and are working with the evaluation sub group to prepare for the evaluation of parental experiences in the New Year. They will provide an interim report in April of 2018 and a final report in the autumn of 2018. Naturally we will share those findings through the blog and through other channels.

In the meantime I am preparing for next week’s Project Board meeting, at which we will be making some important decisions about the next steps for the project, including our approach to developing the pathway in Wave 2.

I look forward to updating you on this and other progress in December’s blog.

Thanks for your continued interest in, and support to the NBCP project.


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