The National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP), seeks to improve the quality and consistency of bereavement care received by parents from the NHS after pregnancy or baby loss.

Sands leads the government backed NBCP in collaboration with bereaved families, other charities and Royal Colleges, which provides health care professionals with frameworks, tools and educational resources to support excellent care.

The NBCP is based around nine standards of bereavement care and includes pathways for miscarriage, termination of pregnancy for foetal anomaly, stillbirth, neonatal death and sudden unexpected death of an infant up to 12 months.


For more information on the NBCP, including access to resources and tools please visit nbcpathway.org.uk

NBCP Objectives

The objective of the project is to ensure that all bereaved parents are offered equal, high quality, individualised, safe and sensitive care in any experience of pregnancy or baby loss, be that miscarriage, Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Anomaly, Stillbirth, Neonatal Death, or Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy up to 12 months.

Core Group Members

We are working with a number of key partners to help deliver the NBCP. There are 13 organisations on our Core Group (Project Board):

  • Charities: Sands; ARC (Antenatal Results & Choices); Bliss; Lullaby Trust; Miscarriage Association.
  • Professional bodies: Institute of Health Visiting; NHS England; Neonatal Nurses Association; Royal College of Midwives; Royal College of Nurses; Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and Royal College of General Practitioners. 
  • Other Partners: A representative of the UK health research community based at UCL.

Update on progress

We have made excellent progress over the first two years but there is much more to do.

Since we initiated the project in 2017 we have:

  • led a pilot of 32 sites across England (11 in Wave 1 from October 2017 and 21 in Wave 2 from April 2018)
  • created pathway guidance for professionals on each of the five experiences of pregnancy or baby loss, revised based on their feedback during waves 1 and 2;
  • published three evaluations of the project (two for the wave 1 sites and one for the wave 2 programme)
  • created a toolkit for professionals containing training material, posters and flyers;
  • engaged with well over 400 professionals and 60 parents;
  • established a Parent Advisory Group;
  • launched the NBCP website;
  • launched the project in Scotland
  • initiated the England roll-out plan
  • published a progress report showing the positive impact for parents and professionals

An independent evaluation concluded that the NBCP is having a positive impact.


The plan for the coming year is to improve access to our educational resources and to embed the NBCP so that health care professionals across the UK are equipped and able to provide excellent bereavement care.

NBCP in Scotland

The National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) for Pregnancy & Baby Loss in Scotland

The NBCP in Scotland provides dedicated pathways that are designed for all healthcare professionals and staff who are involved in the care of women, partners and families at all stages of pregnancy and baby loss.

For further information, visit the new NBCP Scotland website or read more here

If you would like to get involved either as a parent or as a professional, please get in touch with the Project Lead Marc Harder, marc.harder@sands.org.uk or visit www.nbcpathway.org.uk 

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