MP wel­comes move to take still­births out of the shad­ows

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North Ayr­shire and Ar­ran MP Patricia Gib­son has wel­comed the an­nounce­ment from Scot­tish health sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son that she is look­ing to ex­tend fa­tal accident in­quiries to in­clude ba­bies who are still­born. Ms Ro­bi­son has said that she has asked the Crown Of­fice to con­sider the is­sue.

Mrs Gib­son, whose own baby was still­born at full term in 2009, said: ‘I for­mally raised this mat­ter with Ms Ro­bi­son last year. Given that 34 per cent of still­births oc­cur at 37 weeks and be­yond we need to do more to avoid un­nec­es­sary deaths. Ex­perts in the field agree that for oth­er­wise healthy ba­bies to die near or at full term is an avoid­able event.


‘I be­lieve to have an FAI in each in­stance is in the pub­lic in­ter­est, since this could po­ten­tially al­low lessons to be learned that could dra­mat­i­cally im­pact on the lev­els of still­birth, each of which is dev­as­tat­ing for the mother and fam­ily con­cerned.

‘The in­quiries would in­form train­ing needs and any se­ri­ous fail­ings to ul­ti­mately help de­liver higher qual­ity ma­ter­nity care. Such in­quiries would also be well placed to is­sue find­ings and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, hos­pi­tals would be obliged to take on board and re­spond to those find­ings and pre­vent sim­i­lar mis­takes re-oc­cur­ring.

‘I look for­ward to progress on this is­sue which would be a huge step for­ward and would place Scot­land at the fore­front of tack­ling still­birth in a mean­ing­ful way, driv­ing progress on a sen­si­tive sub­ject that for too long has been in the shad­ows.’

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