Baby Loss Awareness Week

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:36 pm on 9th October 2018.

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Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 8:36 pm, 9th October 2018

May I join colleagues across the House in paying tribute to my hon. Friend Antoinette Sandbach for securing this debate on baby loss awareness week? It is particularly appropriate, as today marks the start of the 2018 campaign. How we reduce the numbers of baby losses is an issue that unites the House, as has been very much reflected in the tenor of this evening’s debate. May I also say to my hon. Friend Will Quince that I am sure that all in the Chamber will be thinking of Robert and him on Friday, as he marks that particularly poignant fourth anniversary?

My hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury raised a number of important points in her speech, including about the national bereavement care pathway and the ongoing investigations at the three hospitals in England and Wales. I will address those shortly. She is right to recognise the higher profile that this issue has received in recent years, this being the third such debate in the last three years. That is very much testament to the work of the all-party group on baby loss and in particular my hon. Friends the Members for Eddisbury, for Colchester and for Banbury (Victoria Prentis), who is not in her place, Mrs Hodgson, to whom my opposite number correctly paid tribute and who very much moved the House in a previous debate, and Patricia Gibson, who quite rightly spoke of Kenneth, who is very much in her thoughts and reflects much of the work that she has done in this place. Jamie Stone also made the point very well that this issue affects the family as a whole, including grandparents.