Baby Loss Awareness Week

Part of Business of the House (Prorogation) – in the House of Commons at 4:46 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 4:46 pm, 8th October 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman so much for that intervention. He is absolutely right. In this place, we have a unique opportunity to raise subjects that people find it difficult to talk about out there. In doing so, we shine a light on those subjects, and we are able to really begin to move the dial and to change practice.

With that in mind, I would like to pay tribute to Antoinette Sandbach and my hon. Friend Will Quince, who is desperate to speak, although, being a Minister, he is prevented from doing so, so we will have to restrain him. However, in a late-night Adjournment debate back in 2015, they began to raise awareness of the variation in care for families bereaved by baby loss. It was an incredibly moving debate—I remember listening to it at the time—and it really made such a magnificent difference. It was followed by the Baby Loss Awareness Week 2016 debate, which was about bringing the subject to light and challenging the idea that baby loss is an uncomfortable topic that we do not like to talk about. I am grateful to the Members from across this House who shared their personal experiences on that day back in 2016 and have done since.

International Baby Loss Awareness week begins tomorrow and finishes next Tuesday. This year, the focus is on the need for specialist psychological support for bereaved parents who need it. The Baby Loss Awareness Alliance group of charities will be publishing a report highlighting that some parents need that kind of support as part of their bereavement care.