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Dedicated bereavement support lacking

12th July 2010

A survey by the stillbirth charity Sands has suggested that 45% of maternity units do not have a place where a mother whose baby has died can go to which is shielded from the noise of babies on the wards.


The survey also found that 52% of units did not have a specialist bereavement midwife.

In the UK, 17 babies every day are stillborn or die soon after they are born. In 2007 there were 5.2 stillbirths per 1,000 births.

Less than 80 units replied to the Sands survey, only 25% of the total number. Sands said this indicated the "low priority" given to the issue.

The survey found that in some units women whose babies had died were treated in A&E or on a general ward.

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "While Sands has found that care provided to bereaved parents has improved over the last 20 years, there is still more to do."

"We want to see high quality maternity services everywhere with the right facilities, networks and trained staff to support parents and families when a baby dies", she said.

"The rates of stillbirth in the UK may mean midwives can have limited experience in caring for bereaved families", said Gail Johnson of the Royal College of Midwives.


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Article Information

Title: Dedicated bereavement support lacking
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 15454
Date Added: 12th Jul 2010


BBC News
The Independent

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