Sands is part of the National Stillbirth Working Group in Wales, chaired by Professor Jean White (Chief Nursing Officer for Wales), which is now a permanent subgroup of Maternity Network Wales. The National Stillbirth Working Group is continuing the work around the WISR interventions described below.
A perinatal pathology subgroup, comprising midwives, obstetricians, pathologists and Sands, is specifically looking at the issues around post mortems in Wales.
In May 2012, after continued lobbying and networking in Wales by Sands and the Holly Martin Trust, the Welsh Initiative for Stillbirth Reduction (WISR) was established as part of the Maternity Mini-Collaborative Group within the Wales 1000 Lives Plus Programme.
In October 2012, the first stillbirth training day for maternity professionals from every Welsh Health Board took place, and Sands was invited to talk about parents want health professionals to do.
In February 2013, the National Assembly for Wales’s Health and Social Care Committee published its report on stillbirths, following a one-day National Inquiry into Stillbirth the previous year. The report outlined that the Welsh Government could and should do more to reduce the rate of stillbirth in Wales.
This comprehensive report was a significant step forward to improving care for all parents and babies in Wales and Sands worked closely with WISR to urge the Welsh Government to action the report’s main recommendations which included that they would:
- take an active lead – via the Welsh Initiative for Stillbirth Reduction (WISR) – in developing key public health messages as a matter of priority.
- work with professional bodies and health boards in Wales to ensure that all expectant parents receive adequate information from clinicians and midwives about stillbirth and its associated risks.
- commission, through the national Institute for Social Care and Health Research’s Clinical Research Centre, a comprehensive piece of work on the underlying cause of stillbirth.