Marc Harder, Sands, National Bereavement Care Pathway Project, Lead
Marc Harder, National Bereavement Care Pathway Lead, Sands | 13 February 2018

In his latest blog on the National Bereavement Care Pathway, Project Lead Marc Harder reflects on the exciting news that the NBCP is to run in Scotland and looks forward to launching new pilot sites at Hospitals across England.

The African proverb I heard quoted at a recent conference summed it up neatly: “if you want to go fast, go it alone; if you want to go far, go together”

It is this collaborative spirit which sums up the NBCP project thus far, and I’m delighted that it has reached an important point in its development; together we are expanding!

Scottish Government Funding

Firstly I’m delighted by yesterday’s announcement that the Scottish Government is supporting the development of the NBCP project in Scotland, and is providing funding to get the project up and running, including the creation of a post at Sands to launch the NBCP in Scotland. This is a fantastic development and we’re looking forward to working with our partner charities and healthcare professional organisations in Scotland to develop, implement and embed the pathway in Scotland over the next two years.

Expanding the pathway in England

Secondly and in parallel with the Scotland developments, we’ve been working hard on creating the next wave of NBCP pilot sites in England. We have a provisional programme of 20 sites set to go live from mid-April and hopefully by the time my March blog is published we should be in a position to confirm these locations. In the meantime what I can say is that the programme is broader than in wave 1, with the pathway to be led by teams in Obs & Gynae, Paediatric Pathology, General Practice, Health Visiting, Palliative Care, Commissioning and Neonatal Units, as well as Bereavement Services and Maternity Services.

Whilst these developments taking shape ready for April and beyond are exciting, we mustn’t forget that 11 wave 1 sites are already up and running. It was great to convene a workshop with representatives from the majority of these sites in York a few days ago. The day was an opportunity to hear how they have been getting on, learning from those things which are going well, and those things which are presenting more of a challenge. It was good to see networks being formed and peer support being offered to co-create solutions to issues.

A project led by parents

Together with our Parent Advisory Group we have been working with our independent evaluators Fiveways to develop a parent survey which will help inform the formal evaluation report later this year. I am always struck by the generosity of bereaved parents to share their time and experiences with us, in order to ensure that the documents we produce as part of the pathway are not only based on evidence but are also sensitive and appropriate for those who have suffered a loss. My continued gratitude, and that of the Core Group, goes to those individuals.

Working together, as the proverb reminds us, means we will go further.

Thanks for your continued interest, and support of the project.