The new edition of Sands’ Pregnancy loss and the death of a baby: Guidelines for professionals will be officially launched on 14 September 2016. 

The fourth edition is a comprehensive update of the previous edition (published in 2007) and contains vital information for professionals regarding losses at any stage during pregnancy, including early and late miscarriage and termination for fetal anomaly, as well as stillbirth and care for very ill babies and those who are likely to die shortly after birth.

Since the Sands Guidelines were first published in 1991, they have become widely recognised as an essential benchmark for good practice in bereavement care and are absolutely central to Sands’ work with healthcare professionals in this area. 

The Guidelines do not just provide a description of what good care looks like, but also offer practical guidance for professionals on how to meet the needs of parents in a variety of situations. 

As well as being available to purchase in hard copy, the Guidelines will also be available as an e-publication for the first time.  

The launch will take places at the Royal Institution, London, W1S 4BS. Media are welcome to attend. Attendees at the launch will hear details of how this new edition was compiled to ensure that it was based upon the latest available evidence and expertise from a wide range of healthcare specialists; a parent’s perspective on why these Guidelines are so important to improve the care that bereaved parents receive after the death of a baby; as well as a panel discussion with a number of health professionals to consider how the Guidelines apply to, and can be implemented and engaged with, in a range of healthcare settings. 

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands, said: 
“We’ve made every effort to ensure that this is the most comprehensive and effective set of Guidelines possible and hope our plans to improve accessibility will result in increased engagement and more healthcare professionals feeling confident in the bereavement care they are able to provide for parents when a baby dies.”

The Guidelines will be available to purchase via the Sands shop from 14th September, 2016. They will be available to purchase in hardcopy for £19.99, as well as electronically in PDF and EPUB formats for £14.99 from the week beginning the 19th September.

The fourth edition of the guidelines supports and expands other Sands resources for healthcare professionals including the Sands Audit Tool, Post mortem consent package and the teardrop stickers.

Notes to editors

The launch will take places on 14 September at the Royal Institution, London, W1S 4BS. The event will begin at 1.30pm with registration, refreshments and networking. There will be a drinks reception at 5-6pm for anyone wishing to attend.

The 4th edition of the Guidelines has been endorsed by the following organisations:

  • ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices)
  • British Association of Perinatal Medicine
  • Bliss
  • The British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society
  • The British Pregnancy Advisory Service The Lullaby Trust
  • Cruse
  • The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
  • Child Bereavement  UK
  • The Miscarriage Association
  • The Multiple Births Foundation
  • NHS Wales
  • Neonatal Nurses Association
  • Perinatal Institute
  • The Royal College of Pathologists
  • The Royal College of General Practitioners 
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • The Twins And Multiple Births Association
  • Tommy’s

Sands is very grateful to the Northern Ireland Sands Network and the Scottish Government for their generous contributions to the costs of producing the Guidelines.