Working with Sands and Bliss, researchers at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) at the University of Oxford are carrying out a study of the maternity care experience of parents who have recently had a stillborn baby or a baby who has died in the neonatal period. The study is funded by the Department of Health in England.

The results will provide up-to-date information about care, and women’s and partners’ experience and perceptions of that care, and will be used to help improve maternity services for women and families who experience such a loss.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is using birth and death registration records to select women to take part in the survey and is mailing letters and questionnaires to women. The first invitations to take part have been sent to women this month (October), and will be followed by invitations to a further group of women in February 2013.

Sands has worked closely with the study team to develop the survey. There is more information about the study at

If you have received a questionnaire and you’d like to talk to somebody about it, our Helpline staff are ready to offer support if you call 0207 436 5881.

Helpline opening hours:

Monday – Friday 9.30 – 5.30

Tuesday and Thursday Evenings 6pm – 10pm

If the Helpline is busy when you call please leave a message and you will be contacted as soon as possible or you can email the Helpline

(Please note: because it is not possible to survey all bereaved parents, a sample of women have been selected to be invited to take part in the study. It is not possible to extend the survey to women who are not in this sample group so if you do NOT receive a letter and questionnaire in October or in February, unfortunately you will not be able to take part in the study.)