Sands Awareness Month

30 June 2021

June is Sands Awareness Month and marks the beginning of the #AlwaysThere campaign. Sands is a UK charity that was initially founded by bereaved parents. The charity has been helping bereaved families for over 40 years and have been campaigning for improvements in maternity and bereavement care standards.

Our medical negligence lawyers at Kingsley Napley are highly experienced in working with families who have sadly lost a child due to negligent medical treatment. We are keen to raise awareness of the work carried out by Sands and to promote improvements in maternity practice which will help reduce the number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

Each Baby Counts

It is estimated that approximately 14 babies die before, during or soon after birth every day in the UK. The most recent figures from The Office of National Statistics show that there were 2,763 stillbirths and 2,066 neonatal deaths in the UK in 2019.

‘Each Baby Counts’ was launched by The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2014 with the aim of reducing the amount of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries as a result of incidents occurring during labour. However, findings show that the rate of stillbirths, brain injury and avoidable deaths in babies in the UK have not significantly changed in the last three years.

This programme has recognised that the health system needs to shift its focus from counting to acting. Although an increased number of families are now involved in investigations, this report has acknowledged the importance of ensuring that no family has to experience the pain of an outcome that may have been different with the correct medical care.

Research

Sands believe that research can help save babies’ lives and improve care and support for bereaved families. They aim to use their research to make a tangible difference, ensuring that research is shared with experts and put into practice. Sands have supported a variety of research programmes including:

  • Fetal movements – Testing a package of care for pregnant women who report changes in their baby’s movements.
  • Third trimester ultrasound – Ultrasound scan measurements at the end of high risk pregnancies that predict if a woman is at risk of a still birth.
  • Mortality reviews – How to support and involve parents in a review of the baby’s death.
  • Post-mortem data – A new system for collecting information on post-mortem that could improve understanding of why babies are stillborn.

Support

In 2018, Sands launched a Bereavement Support app for anyone who has experienced the death of a baby. The app contains information and support resources for bereaved families. Sands have a variety of resources including the Sands National Helpline, local support groups, a bereavement book and memory boxes.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more information on the support available from Sands and the #AlwaysThere campaign during Sands Awareness Month, please visit (https://www.sands.org.uk/support-you).

If you would like any further information or advice about the topic discussed in this blog, please contact our Medical Negligence and Personal Injury team at claims@kingsleynapley.co.uk 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Terrence Donovan is the Head of the Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Department.  He has a national reputation, and is one of the most respected and senior solicitors in the field.

Lara Francioni is a Paralegal in the Medical Negligence and Personal Injury team. Lara assists with aspects of medical negligence and personal injury claims, including birth injury, brain injury, fatal accidents and road traffic accident claims. 

 

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