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’ experiences and perceptions of that care, and will be used to help improve maternity services for women and families who experience such a loss.

Because it is not possible to survey all bereaved parents whose baby died in 2012, a sample of women have been selected to be invited to take part in the study. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has used birth and death registration records to select women to take part in the survey and is mailing letters and questionnaires to these women. This means that the names and addresses of women, although known to the ONS, are not known to researchers.

The first invitations to take part were sent to women in October last year and we were pleased that many women felt able to respond to the survey. The second wave of invitations to be part of the survey have recently gone out.

If you do not receive a letter and questionnaire in March and April this year, unfortunately you will not be able to take part in the study. This is simply because it’s not possible to survey all bereaved parents.

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

If you’d like to talk to somebody about the survey, our helpline staff are ready to offer support if you call 0207 436 5881.