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Lack of Support for Families Following a Stillbirth

Author: Daxa Patel  Bullet  Dated: 16/02/2016

It has recently been reported by a government health minister that bereavement services for families who have lost babies through stillbirth, or whose babies died shortly after birth, are not offering adequate support.

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The conservative MP for Eddisbury, Antoinette Sandbach, told the Commons from her own experience that the services were "patchy", which meant some parents were unable to access help.

Personal Experience of the Lack of Bereavement Services

The MP was so distraught by recalling her own experience that she broke down in the Commons as she told them of her own experience following the loss of her own baby. Her son had died from sudden infant death syndrome; there was no bereavement counselling available where she lived and the only help she received was from a charity that paid for a counsellor to visit her at home.

She said that "parents who are coping with the pain, bewilderment and grief of losing a child should not need to battle for support."

Another case can be highlighted of a woman who had twins, but one of the twins died at 6 weeks old. She indicated that whilst she received great support at the hospital, after they left the hospital there was no support available.

Support Systems need to be in Place

Medical Negligence Solicitor at Simpson Millar, Daxa Patel, comments on these worrying reports:

"Families going through such a traumatic experience do need support. Surely it should not be the case that they have to fight and search for support, it should be readily available. Families in such a situation clearly need sensitive and individualised support when going through such grief."

"It is hoped this report will encourage the government to ensure that families are not struggling on their own. The present service is clearly not good enough, which means something needs to be done."

The charity SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death) is a UK charity that provides support to bereaved parents. SANDS recommend that each hospital should have a dedicated midwife specifically trained.

Stillbirth Caused by Negligence

Simpson Millar's Medical Negligence team are experienced in supporting parents who have lost a child due to the negligence of medical staff. We see the devastating affect that losing a child has on a person's life, and know that specialist bereavement care should be a necessity.

For more information on medical negligence and still birth, you can call our team on 0808 129 3320.

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