Sands is leading the National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) project in collaboration with other charities and with the support of the Department of Health and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss.

Pregnancy loss and the death of a baby is not a rare occurrence. Thousands of parents each year will experience the devastation of their baby dying before, during or shortly after birth or within the first years of life.

The quality of care that bereaved families receive when their baby dies can have long-lasting effects. Good care cannot remove parents’ pain and grief, but it can help parents through this devastating time. Poor care can and does make things much worse.

The bereavement care received by parents varies hugely regionally. All bereaved parents should be offered the same high standard of parent-centered, empathic and safe care when a baby dies.


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.

NBCP project 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 Bristol University.


We have made good progress over the year but there is much more to do. Since we initiated the project earlier in 2017 we have:

  • gone live with 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 wave 1;
  • published an interim evaluation of the project after six months live in the wave 1 sites;
  • published a wave 2 interim report
  • created a toolkit for professionals containing training material, posters and flyers;
  • engaged with other 400 professionals and 60 parents;
  • established a Parent Advisory Group;
  • launched the NBCP website.

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