Sands took the opportunity to become part of NHS Change Day 2014, an initiative that allows individuals and organisations to try something simple in order to make a positive difference to care within the NHS, by pledging to improve bereavement care.

NHS Change Day 2014, an amazing social movement that has seen 442,998 pledges being made to date, culminated last week.

The charity made this pledge at the beginning of the year: “We at Sands, pledge our commitment to working alongside health professionals to ensure that all bereaved parents receive high quality, sensitive care; and we also pledge our new leaflet, Stillbirth: how professionals can make a difference, is widely disseminated throughout the UK.”

Sands’ received much appreciated support and many ‘liked’ and ‘joined’ it’s pledge. The pledge was also widely shared on social networks, reaching over 38,000 people on Facebook.

Sands has taken steps to achieve this pledge and is now proud be on it’s way to becoming a ‘changemaker’ that has made a positive difference within the NHS. 

The charity has been piloting a brand new skills-based Bereavement Care training workshop for midwives, which will be tailored for other professionals later in the year. 

The aim of our new training workshop is to enable health professionals to gain the knowledge, insight and skills to provide high quality, sensitive care to parents whose baby dies, before, during or shortly after birth.  Parental contributions form a unique and invaluable part of the workshop learning experience. 

The full-day workshop is very interactive and combines presentation, discussion, reflection, group work, exercises, film and audio clips.  We aim for a balance between information giving/sharing and learning/developing skills.  These skills include:

  • -breaking bad news with sensitivity and clarity 
  • -supportive listening and responding with empathy
  • -enabling and supporting parents to make informed choices about creating memories of their baby, and choices about what happens to their baby’s body.

The pilots have been a great success and we aim to launch our new training programme in April this year.

Sands has acted on it’s promise to widely distribute it’s Stillbirth: how professionals can make a difference leaflet by ensuring that it is given out at all health professional events the charity attended as well as being included in the training delegate packs.

Some of Sands local groups have also contributed to achieving this pledge, sharing the charity’s pledge with them and handing out the Stillbirth: how professionals can make a difference leaflet. Others give talks at local hospitals about Sands work in general and what support they can offer to bereaved parents.

The charity is committed to improving bereavement care within the NHS for parents and their families.  Therefore Sands promises to build on achievements to date and continue to make a positive impact on the care bereaved parents receive.  

You can view Sands’ pledge on the NHS Change Day 2014 website by clicking here: http://changeday.nhs.uk/user