Baby Loss Awareness Week

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:14 pm on 9th October 2018.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Conservative, Colchester 7:14 pm, 9th October 2018

I thank my hon. Friend for raising those very good points, which are entirely valid. His points about support, both in hospital and post-hospital, and about the support available to fathers, are very important and I shall come on to them in a moment.

Just before we move on to the debate proper, I want to talk a bit about my right hon. Friend Mr Hunt, because we have not had a chance since his elevation to the position of Foreign Secretary to praise him for the work he did on these matters when he was Health Secretary. From the beginning, we also felt supported by Ben Gummer—I think I am allowed to call him that now, as he is the former Member for Ipswich; he encouraged us to set up the all-party parliamentary group. However, the former Health and Social Care Secretary, now Foreign Secretary, could not have been more supportive, and we felt from the very beginning that we were pushing against an open door. He knew that the issue needed to be addressed, and he threw the full weight of the Department behind it. I thank him on the behalf of the APPG, and I know that all the charities feel the same way. He was hugely supportive and continues to be so.

We produced a video for baby loss awareness week, which is live now, and my right hon. Friend features in it, showing how passionate he is about tackling this issue. I also want to say how much the rest of the APPG and I are looking forward to working with the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my right hon. Friend Matt Hancock, who has already reached out to me and other members of the APPG, as have his special advisers, to continue that work, which they recognise is important.

Several colleagues have already referenced the hugely important work done by charities up and down the country. That includes both big charities such as Sands, which is marking its 40th anniversary this year, the Lullaby Trust, the Mariposa Trust, Tamba and so many others and small charities that provide support locally. The support that they provide to parents at the most difficult time in their lives is so valuable, and I thank everyone who works in and volunteers for those charities.