The Welsh Government’s Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) conducted a one-day inquiry into stillbirths in Wales which reported in February 2013. Sands submitted written and oral evidence to the inquiry – parents’ stories and quotes illustrated and added power to our evidence.

The inquiry report included 9 key recommendations to:

  • Raise public awareness of stillbirth and associated risks
  • Improve the information given to expectant mums about stillbirth risk
  • Improve training for midwives about stillbirth prevention measures and bereavement care
  • Standardise the quality of maternity care across Wales
  • Standardise the way perinatal deaths are reviewed and how care is improved as a result
  • Improve the process for seeking post mortem consent
  • Review the provision of perinatal pathology services
  • Review care for women who deliver their baby post-term (ie more than 13 days after their due date)
  • Review staffing levels of fetal medicine specialist consultants
  • Fund research to investigate the underlying causes of stillbirth

The HSCC is now reviewing progress following the inquiry report. They have asked stakeholders, including Sands, to contribute our views about progress on implementing the inquiry’s recommendations.

We would very much like to reflect the personal experiences of parents in Wales in the Sands submission, and so we are asking for feedback from families  and those supporting them.

We would welcome your comments about services and care since the middle of 2013, which you may have experienced or heard about.  Areas you might be able to comment on include:

  • Staffing and quality of care issues which may have had a bearing on the outcome of a pregnancy, positive or negative.
  • Specific examples of poor pregnancy care, or examples of good / improved care.
  • Experiences of perinatal post mortem services, for example: experiences of being asked for consent to a post mortem; length of time for the PM report to come back; where the PM was done.
  • Experiences of care following a baby’s death – good or poor.

While we cannot promise to quote directly every experience in Sands submission, we would welcome all comments which help us reflect back an overall picture of the situation in Wales from the patient perspective.

Please send any comments by 25th November to Sands Welsh co-ordinator, Heather Jane Coombes  , or to Sands Research and Prevention lead, Janet Scott :

Sands submissions will be considered, alongside others, by the HSCC in deciding what further action they need to take in relation to stillbirth reduction during the term of the current Assembly.

To read the full HSCC Stillbirth Inquiry report and the Minister for Health and Social Services’ progress report please go to: