On the 3rd October, the Welsh Assembly met to discuss Baby Loss.
The movement was led by:
To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:
- Recognises that, in 2016, 263 infants died or were stillborn in Wales and that families who are affected by baby loss often cannot access appropriate services or support.
- Welcomes Baby Loss Awareness week, which is organised by a collation of more than 60 charities throughout the UK and will take place from 9 to 15 October 2018 providing an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of excellent bereavement care for all parents after pregnancy loss or the death of a baby.
- Recognises that Baby Loss Awareness Week also provides an important opportunity for bereaved parents, and their families and friends, to unite and commemorate their babies’ lives.
- Recognises that all bereaved parents should receive the same high standard of care when a baby dies, and that while good care cannot remove parents’ pain and grief, it can help parents through this devastating time.
- Calls on the Welsh Government to take action to improve the care that parents receive after pregnancy or baby loss by:
a) committing to improve and deliver better bereavement care which can be accessed by all parents after pregnancy or baby loss;
b) adopting the core set of standards for bereavement care which have been used to underpin the National Bereavement Care Pathway in other areas of the UK;
c) working with NHS Wales to ensure all staff who come into contact with bereaved parents receive bereavement care training.
Dai Lloyd gave a moving personal account, which demonstrated the importance of good bereavement care, and the pervasive pain that families go through when they do lose a child. It was clear from the debate that services across Wales need to improve, in particular for families suffering from recurrent miscarriages.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Services, Vaughan Gething, laid importance to reducing the events of bereavement, and the subsequent suffering. He spoke about work already in place to improve the identification and care of babies and mums at risk; for example, the Growth Assessment Programme, emergency drills training, guidance for reduced fetal movements, the Perinatal Mortality Review and subsequent learning.
The debate supported what we believe is the need for standardisation of care across Wales, and also the UK. Training across all relevant professionals in all hospitals in prevention of the bereavement, and also in how to manage and care for families who suffer as a consequence of losing a baby is urgently required.
The motion was agreed, and we look forward to hearing how it progresses, as we feel the work will greatly benefit families in Wales.