Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to increase the support that women who experience miscarriages receive from the NHS; what measures he will take to improve training for healthcare staff to help them be more supportive; and what plans he has to provide faster access to pre-natal scanning.
Anne Milton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Public Health), Health; Guildford, Conservative)
Miscarriage can be a devastating event for women and their partners and it is important that they receive evidence-based care, in appropriate locations, which supports both their physical health needs and emotional wellbeing.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, “Standards for Gynaecology, and Standards for Maternity (2008)” set out clear standards for the level of care that should be provided to help women and their partners experiencing early pregnancy loss. This includes prompt access to a dedicated early pregnancy assessment unit that provides investigation including scanning, patient counselling and access to appropriate information.
The Department has also commissioned the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to produce a clinical guideline for the NHS on the assessment and initial management, both physical and emotional, of pain and bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. The guideline is due to be published in November 2011.