New research released today by researchers at the University of Oxford, working in conjunction with Bliss and Sands, has helped to give a national picture of the NHS care experienced by parents of babies who died before or during birth or as newborns. The report, Listening to parents: after stillbirth or the death of their baby after birth will be presented today at a meeting of the Maternity and Newborn Forum.
The research found that across England the quality of care in these incredibly difficult circumstances was generally good for the majority of couples. However the study also found that the standard of care parents received varied across the country from area to area.
When asked about the aspects of care that were important to them parents said that feeling like they were treated with kindness and respect as individuals, and to feel that their needs were understood was incredibly important. It was also important to them that their baby was recognised as an individual, cared for and treated with respect. And most of all, they wanted their worries and concerns to be listened to.
Bliss Chief Executive Andy Cole said: ‘This invaluable report highlights the often overlooked needs of all family members after the devastating loss of a baby. The report demonstrates that most healthcare professionals do an outstanding job in these extremely challenging situations, but best practice needs to be applied consistently across England to ensure that every single parent receives the vital care and support they need. There is a clear need for improved access to counselling to help families through such a tragic period of their lives and this is something that Bliss is committed to help achieve.’
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