An update from our campaign lead Jessica:
There have been some really positive developments with the campaign in recent months that I am excited to share with you all.
Back in September 2018, we presented our report ‘Making the Case for Better Miscarriage Care in Wales’ to Welsh Government. The report makes eleven recommendations that we believe will help to improve the care experienced in Wales.
Shortly after our meeting with the Cabinet Secretary’s team to discuss the report, a key debate on pregnancy and baby loss took place in the Senedd. The debate was tabled by Lynne Neagle, David Rees and Adam Price AMs, calling for definitive action to improve the care that parents receive after pregnancy and baby loss and for the adoption of a core set of minimum standards for bereavement care.
I am incredibly grateful to Lynne, David and Adam for drawing attention to this this important issue. During the debate, discussion centred around bereavement care following the loss of a baby and the lack of dedicated recurrent miscarriage clinics in Wales. We were particularly delighted to hear a number of Assembly Members strongly backing the recommendations made in our report, and urging Welsh Government to take action accordingly.
If you would like to see the full debate you can do so by following this link.
In response to the debate mentioned above Welsh Government has established a Bereavement Support Working Group, which aims to look at the way in which support is offered to parents following the loss of a baby in Wales, including examining bereavement care for women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or the death of a young child.
In January I attended the first meeting of the group, which has representation from a number of key baby loss Charities in the UK. It aims to take into account the National Bereavement Care Pathway that has been introduced in England and Scotland, in order to consider how families in Wales can be better supported following the loss of a baby. I am hopeful that the work of this group will lead to significant and meaningful changes in terms of the support that couples are offered following the loss of a baby at any stage.
A number of the recommendations made in our report call for improvements in the support offered to couples following a miscarriage, including in subsequent pregnancies. The work of the Bereavement Support Working Group should therefore begin to address some of the key concerns raised by this campaign.
There is still work to do however. Most notably, women in Wales who suffer recurrent miscarriage are still finding it far too difficult to access specialist care. Wales still does not have any dedicated recurrent miscarriage clinics and referral to centres in England is still impossible for much of the population. Together with FTWW, I am still working to fight for the establishment of dedicated clinics in Wales, or, at the very least, for primary care providers to be able to make referrals to centres in England.
As part of the ongoing campaign, Debbie, CEO, FTWW and I have written to all health boards in Wales, providing them with a copy of our report. We believe that it is vital that those devising and implementing health board strategy at a regional level should also be apprised of the report’s contents and we hope that health boards will work with us to look at how its recommendations might impact on the care that they are providing.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your support of the campaign. I really hope that the progress we are making will very soon begin to make a real difference to the care that couples are experiencing on the ground.
In the meantime, please do keep sharing and promoting the petition. Every signature helps to strengthen the case for change.
All the best,