Stillbirth: NHS 'must do better' after 1 in 4 grieving families not consulted in investigations

'It gets treated like a medical condition, and people don't treat it as a child that's been lost', 1 in 4 families don't know their stillbirth was investigated

Parents must be involved in post-stillbirth investigations, says charity

Friday, June 10, 2016

A charity that helps families cope with the trauma of baby loss has told the NHS that carrying out investigations into stillbirth without consulting the parents is "like investigating a car accident without talking to the drivers". 

National laws mean that hospitals are required to investigate all stillbirths, but figures released by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have revealed that 56 per cent of those investigations are inadequate, while a quarter of grieving parents are never told an investigation has taken place - and are never told the findings.  

Saying Goodbye, part of the Mariposa Trust, is a charity which offers support for those who have lost children. Founder Zoe Clark-Coates, who has lost five children herself, says the NHS simply has to do better.

"It's got to change and it's got to change fast," she told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "I don't see that the NHS has got a choice [other than to] immediately put something in place to prevent this from happening.

"It's like doing an investigation in to a car accident without speaking to the drivers involved.

"Only so much is going to be in someone's notes. It raises a million concerns that these investigations are not being done properly. 

"If the parents aren't involved in the investigation, then the investigation is definitely not being done right."

Listen to the full interview above, where Julia also speaks to Andrew Stanton, who lost his daughter Grace at full term but was not consulted in the NHS investigation into her death.