• Led by North Bristol NHS Trust, partnered by the University of Bristol, the International Stillbirth Alliance and the University of Manchester.
  • Will implement the incorporation of input from parents into the hospital review process that takes place after the death of a baby in two UK hospitals.
  • Aims to improve the review process to potentially help parents deal with their grief more effectively, and drive improvements in patient safety.
  • Will inform the development of a standardised national process.

In the UK, more than 5,000 babies a year die before or shortly after birth. This can result in a wide range of negative psychological symptoms for parents, families and staff.

Parents are rarely involved in the hospital perinatal death review process that takes place after the death of a baby and many are unaware that it takes place. However, involving parents in this process can help them deal with grief more effectively. It also has the potential to improve patient safety by highlighting errors in care, as well as good practice. 

This project will actively involve parents in the perinatal death review process at two hospitals within the North Bristol and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trusts. Involving parents in such a sensitive area is a genuinely novel, yet urgently needed and recommended approach. The lessons learnt will be used to finalise an improved, innovative review process that if demonstrated to be beneficial will inform national and international policy and be rolled out to the wider NHS.

The impact on patient care will be assessed using questionnaires and focus group discussions. The views and experiences of staff and stakeholders will also be considered to enable the development of a standardised process that is sustainable, useful and has an impact on patient safety.

This project aims to directly improve patient care by creating a flexible service that is transparent and accountable. This will allow families to feel confident that their case has been reviewed and potentially improve longer term outcomes following their bereavement.  

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