Sands are working to produce a National Bereavement Care Pathway (NBCP) 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.

NBCP project Core Group Members

We are working with a number of key partners to help deliver the NBCP. For example we have 9 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



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

  • engaged with other 200 professionals and 60 parents
  • established a Parent Advisory Group
  • hosted four stakeholder workshops, each aimed at different groups
  • appointed a project manager to lead the work
  • completed a gap analysis of current pathways, guidance and research
  • created a project logo
  • established two sub groups focused on the evaluation and the training of the project
  • launched the NBCP website
  • launched Wave 1 of the project pilot at 11 sites
  • put plans in place to launch the pathway at 21 additional sites in April 2018
  • revised the documentation available to Health Care Professionals based on their feedback during the pilot

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,