Following our launch of Saving Babies’ Lives report in Scotland (2009), the Scottish Government responded by forming the Scottish Expert Stillbirth Sub-group, chaired by the Senior Medical Officer for Women and Children’s Health, with a mandate to reduce the number of stillbirths in Scotland.
The multi-disciplinary group, chaired by Scottish Government Senior Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood and including Sands representation, is focussing on several areas of work: standardising perinatal review across Scotland; revising the NHS Scotland pregnancy booklet/web information with up-to-date advice about fetal movement; revising and standardising protocols for identifying poor fetal growth – which includes revising the growth charts in the new Scotland-wide hand-held pregnancy notes; improving audit of stillbirths; introducing an e-learning package for health professionals to improve skills when supporting parents after a baby dies; reviewing protocols for investigation after a stillbirth.
Scotland is contributing funds to Sands work in developing public health messaging to improve awareness of stillbirth risk.
Since the launch of the group, Scotland has made significant progress in initiating a number of actions to reduce stillbirths, not least the government target to reduce deaths by 15% by 2015.
In June 2013, Sands and Healthier Scotland held its first Stillbirth Conference to share the activities of the group, as well as broader information about stillbirth, with a wider audience of stakeholders.