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November 2020 update

Even now, we can all put our ‘improvement’ glasses on

Emma Currer, Royal College of Midwives National Officer for Scotland

These are challenging times for everyone and in maternity care especially for parents experiencing pregnancy loss or the death of their baby and the staff caring for them. Piloting the NBCP Pathways gives momentum to all Boards in Scotland to consider what they can do to improve the quality and consistency of care within the current constraints. It is important for everyone to remember that subtle changes can have a big impact. While no one can take away parents’ grief, everyone can a devastating experience more manageable.

The NBCP pathways are designed to deliver a quality improvement approach with a focus on clear aims and outcomes. For example in the Miscarriage Pathway one aim is to Provide kind and empathic care, give clear information sensitively. Listen carefully to the words that the woman and partner use and take those words and their fertility history into consideration when responding. The outcomes measures for this aim are that (1) Women and partners will say they were treated with respect and kindness by staff and received clear information which was sensitive to their individual needs (2) Staff will say they feel confident and competent in dealing with women and partners who exhibit any of a range of emotional responses to their situation and in giving clear information. You can download and read all of the pathways now.

NBCP Scotland has been gathering feedback from the 14 NHS Boards in Scotland to understand the impact of COVID19 measures on bereavement care. In May, Boards were reporting a significant impact on their usual care. Since then Boards have worked hard and we can see care is very largely as it was before the pandemic albeit with infection control measures in place. Our aim was to help NBCP Scotland to build a picture of the impact of COVID-19 over time and we can now look back over the last 6 months.

Find out about bereavement care during Covid

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