The quality of care that bereaved families receive when their baby dies has long-lasting effects. Good care cannot remove parents’ pain and grief, but poor care can and does make things much worse.
The Sands Audit Tool for maternity services: Caring for parents whose baby has died was developed to help those responsible for commissioning and providing maternity services to assess the quality of care they provide to bereaved parents, and identify any improvements that are needed.
The Tool is based on the standards set out by Sands in its widely acclaimed Guidelines and is supported by a range of professional organisations including the Royal College of Obstetricians, the Royal College of Pathologists, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Human Tissue Authority.
Not all the improvements that may be identified require additional resources. In many cases, small organisational changes make a huge difference to parents’ experience of care. The audit may also identify some necessary improvements that carry major costs; these may be hard to implement in the current financial climate. However, this is not a reason to ignore them. Improvements may not be possible immediately, but they will never be made unless the need for them has been identified.
In 2014 Sands revised the Audit Tool. Please see the last 4 pages of the PDF for the 2014 Updates to the Sands Audit Tool.