The PLC follows its comments to the National Women’s Strategy by re-stating the importance of the new HSE National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death.
Now that the new Standards have been set out, a detailed application across the health service in all appropriate hospitals and settings is required. This will involve the dedication of a ring-fenced implementation budget so as to ensure close operational monitoring and the guarantee of continued use of the Standards.
In addition, fully resourced training modules must be created and sustained with particular emphasis on the need to address issues surrounding antenatal and perinatal mental health care. This will especially apply in terms of matters arising on the diagnosis of a life-limiting condition for the baby in the womb where there can be the potential for mental health difficulties. This must also apply across all relevant medical grades and areas of expertise.
The PLC further urges the Government to provide funding (Budget 2018) to organisations already hosting vital services at a critical and often traumatic point in the lives of parents and their children. Groups like One Day More, Hugh’s House and Every Life Counts are providing enormous assistance to the Department of Health by supporting families and the PLC recommends that their work is funded at this time so that it can continue at the highest level.